Journalist denied treatment for speaking Kurdish

The medical examination of jailed journalist Zeynel Bulut was blocked by the Turkish military after he explained his complaint in Kurdish.

Xwebûn newspaper Editor Zeynel Bulut, who was arrested along with 15 colleagues in Amed on June 16, 2022, was forced to speak Turkish in Gazi Yaşargil Training and Research Hospital, where he was admitted for treatment on May 14. When Bulut explained his complaint in Kurdish, soldiers in charge at Diyarbakır Prison No. 2 intervened, saying "Don't speak Kurdish, speak Turkish". Bulut replied: “Don't be racist, I can speak in any language I want. Kurdish is my mother tongue and I express myself better in Kurdish.”

A doctor intervened thereupon and tried to persuade the soldiers, saying that "the patient can speak in any language". While the soldiers still forced him to speak Turkish, Bulut replied: "If you don't understand, it's your problem, bring an interpreter."

The doctor said: "I speak Kurdish, it is quite natural for my patient to explain his problems in Kurdish".

After the discussion, the soldiers handcuffed the journalist and prevented him from being examined. The soldiers took the journalist back to the prison after keeping him waiting in the hospital yard for hours.