October 21, 2013 - 16:32 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - A package of reforms suggested by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan allows conducting electoral campaigns in Armenian. Before the move, usage of any language beside Turkish during campaigns was forbidden, according to Haber Turk.
Politicians in Istanbul, Hatai, Diyarbakir and Kars which are home to descendants of the 1915 Genocide victims can address the voters in Armenian.
According to the Turkish Linguistic Society's assessment, Turkish population speaks 36 languages: 15 million speak Kurdish, a million an a half are Alevites, with Armenian, Arabic. Greek, Abkhazian, Georgian, Kazakh among the languages spoken. A Western Armenian dialect, Hamshen, which hasn’t changed in the last 200 years, is also spoken.
Armenian news service has been operating at TRT state channel for more than a year.
On September 30, Erdoğan unveiled a long-anticipated package of reforms designed “to strengthen democracy and keep on track a fragile settlement process” to end the conflict with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
The most important reforms include removing restrictions of wearing Islamic headscraves, possibility of education in mother tongue, restoration of original names of villages, districts and provinces that existed before 1980, sweeping changes in law on political parties, possibility of lowering 10 percent electoral threshold in entering Parliament, improving assembly freedom and other small rights for religious and ethnic minorities.