Kurdish sign at Tatvan Municipality taken down

The Kurdish language sign at the Tatvan Municipality building was taken down and replaced with a sign in Turkish that read, “Tatvan Municipality Municipal Police Directorate”.

In the aftermath of Bitlis Municipality removing Kurdish language signs and placards, the AKP municipality in the Tatvan district of Bitlis also took down the Kurdish signs. Tatvan Municipality was on the news for removing 9 HDP city council members from office before, and is now drawing attention for removing the sign that read “Tatvan Municipality” in Turkish and Kurdish (“Tatvan Belediyesi - Şaredariya Tetwan”) and replacing it with one that reads “Tatvan Municipality Municipal Police Directorate” in Turkish.

Diyar Orak, city council member from HDP who was removed from office, protested the removal of the sign and said the removal of signs and placards in the Bitlis and Tatvan municipalities was done on orders from above. Orak said, “We do not accept intolerance against Kurdish, other languages and other colors. The native language of most of the people who live here is Kurdish, this is an insult to our people. I was removed from office along with 9 friends, but we will monitor all works by the municipality. The 5 council members who continue their work will follow up on this and voice the matter in the meetings. This is not a situation anybody can accept.”

A sign in Kurdish was put up at the municipality building after the 2009 local elections when the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) won. The building has been used actively as an extension since the Tatvan Municipality moved to the new service building, and in the building there is the mayor’s office, the municipal police directorate, the announcements office and a teller.