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Languages – Turks, Kurds and three letters of the alphabet


The Turkish Government proposes legalising the letters q, w, and x.

The Turkish Government proposes legalising the letters q, w, and x.

Among the negotiations presently underway between the Turkish government and the country’s Kurdish minority is a curious orthographic reform. The proposal – to expand the current alphabet by adding the letters q, x and w – is part of a ‘democratisation package’ announced by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during a live TV press conference last September. Since then, the minor reform has been submitted to parliament. The news puzzled some Western commentators, who wondered how important discussions over the alphabet could really be.

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