A Kurdish-language audio library, opened specifically for disabled children in 2014, has been shut down after the government seized the administration of the Diyarbakir Municipality over terror charges.
Diyarbakir Municipality’s Social Services Unit established a web portal for the audio library where children’s stories were available to listen in Kurmanji, Dimilki and Sorani dialects of the Kurdish language.
“All institutions that used to provide service in social and cultural fields were closed after the government appointed trustees to the municipality. The employees working at such organizations were either dismissed or transferred to unrelated branches. The audio library was affected in the face of this cultural genocide as well. Access was banned to our online archive that we had earlier made huge efforts to establish for the disabled children,” Mustafa Demir, the library’s former supervisor told Mezopotamya news agency.
Like many of his colleagues, Demir was also removed from his job following the seizure of the municipality.
Turkish government has stepped up political pressure on Kurdish minority in recent months, seizing Kurdish-run municipalities and arresting their mayors. Dozens of trustees have been appointed by the Interior Ministry to mostly pro-Kurdish municipalities in Turkey’s Southeast, replacing the elected mayors and municipal council members. Pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party’s (HDP) co-leader and former presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtas has been also behind bars for some time.