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Turkey (Kurdish Population)

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 4 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Turkish authorities in respect of their undertaking to ensure that Kurds in Turkey gain full political and social rights, including the right to learn and study the Kurdish language, by 2004. [115037]

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary periodically discusses a range of issues with senior members of the Turkish Government, including progress in ensuring the rights of minorities in Turkey.Her Majesty's Government welcomes recent Turkish reforms which allow for the teaching in private schools and public broadcasting of minority languages, including Kurdish, but remains concerned that such provisions are limited in scope and that significant obstacles stand in the way of their effective implementation.