Kurdish woman fined for not being able to answer survey in Turkish

A Kurdish woman living in the south eastern city of Batman was fined after she was unable to answer a survey by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUİK) because she did not know Turkish, Turkish news site Gazete Duvar reported on Friday.

In 2015, 55-year-old Tenzire Çetin did not answer 50 questions asked in Turkish by pollsters of TUİK because she is illiterate and can not speak the language, Gazete Duvar said, citing a local newspaper.

She was fined 55,000 Turkish liras ($9620) after being found guilty of a misdemeanour last week, said Gazete Duvar.

TUİK regional officials say it is obligatory to take part in the institute's surveys and those who do not answer questions are punished according to related laws.

Turkey's current constitution, ratified after the military coup of 1980, recognises only Turkish as the country’s official language, thus restricting the use of local minority tongues.

Under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), many restrictions on Kurdish were slackened as part of a reconciliation process with the country’s Kurdish minority that started in 2009. However, no minority languages, including Kurdish, have been recognised as official languages of the country.