Kurdish operating system under investigation by Turkish attorney general

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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Large portions of the system, such as menu entries, were translated into Kurdish

Previously, we reported that Kurdish Linux was launched in Turkey: Kurdish Ubuntu, a Linux distribution, was promoted this week with a reception in Diyarbakir. Ubuntu was the first Linux distribution to implement Kurdish localization. Kurdish localization in Linux was an important milestone for Turkey due to ethnic conflicts.

According to Milliyet and Radikal, well-known Turkish newspapers, the Diyarbakir Attorney General of the Republic of Turkey started an official investigation on the mayor of Sur (a town in Diyarbakir) and on Ubuntu. Although the official cause of investigation was not specified, in the light of the ethnic conflicts in Turkey, a Kurdish operating system was not welcomed by Turkish officials. Mark Shuttleworth (founder of the Ubuntu Foundation and head developer of Ubuntu) and his team is looking at how to help ameliorate the situation.

Kurdish Ubuntu was prepared by a team of hardworking translators working on the Rosetta web application. In his talk at the reception, the mayor of Sur (a town in Diyarbakir) said that "Whatever language it is in, we wanted it [our service] to be accessible multilingually because multilingualism is our wealth. Our work is being conducted on Kurdish, English, and Turkish language support. ... If we can integrate multilingualism, multi-identities, and multi-culturalism in this nation, this region will be a place of peace instead of conflicts." Mehmed Uzun, a Kurdish writer, speaking about the Kurdish language, told the attendees that "Our most important problem is that the language is not standardized. The Kurdish language should be standardized." Ubuntu was later distributed to the reception's attendees.

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