Kurds free to speak up for own language

TWENTY-eight children and young adults who faced up to seven years in prison for chanting slogans supporting Kurdish have been acquitted by a Turkish court.

Prosecutors had alleged that the children were part of a rebel campaign to spread the use of Kurdish, because they chanted slogans supporting Kurdish language education at a rally in December.

But attorney Tahir Elci said his clients were acquitted last week, because teaching Kurdish was no longer a crime. A ban on Kurdish courses at language schools was lifted last month as part of a series of reforms aimed at boosting Turkey's chances of joining the European Union. (AP)

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