Turkish gov’t trustee shuts down Kurdish-language audio library for disabled children

A Kurdish-language audio library, opened specifically for disabled children in 2014, has been shut down after the government seized the administration of the Diyarbakır Municipality over terror charges.

Diyarbakır Municipality’s Social Services Unit established a web portal for the audio library where children’s stories were available to be listened in Kurmanji, Dimilki and Sorani dialects of the Kurdish language.

“All institutions that used to provide service in social and cultural fields were closed after the government appointed trustees to the municipality. The employees working at such organizations were either dismissed or transferred to unrelated branches. The audio library was affected in the face of this cultural genocide as well. Access was banned to our online archive that we had earlier made huge efforts to establish for the disabled children,” Mustafa Demir, the library’s former supervisor told Mezopotamya news agency.

Like many of his colleagues, Demir was also removed from his job following the seizure of the municipality.

Turkish government has stepped up political pressure on Kurdish minority in recent months, seizing Kurdish-run municipalities and arresting their mayors. Dozens of trustees have been appointed by the Interior Ministry to mostly pro-Kurdish municipalities in Turkey’s Southeast, replacing the elected mayors and municipal council members. Pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party’s (HDP) co-leader and former presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtas has been also behind bars for some time.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by the SCF has showed that 256 journalists and media workers are in jails as of November 21, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 230 are arrested pending trial, only 26 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 135 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the Gülen movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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