October 25, 2005

Where it's against the law to use the letters W and Q.



Dave said...

Turkish law also forbids defacing images of Kemal Ataturk.

My wife's family (which is Turkish) has told me stories of kids they know being punished for drawing doodles on Turkish currency, which has a picture of Ataturk on it.

If the EU is serious about admitting Turkey into its domain, it should compel Turkey to abandon inane laws such as these.

Nick said...

Wow... Sesame Street must really hurt for money in Turkey then. I can't even begin to count the number episodes I saw that were sponsored by W and Q.

Matt Brown said...

I guess, then, that no one in Turkey can refer to George Bush as "W."

Too Many Jims said...

The article forgot to mention that "x" is also banned. It seems silly but really it is an attempt to suppress the Kurdish minority in the SE represented mainly by the marxist leaning party mentioned in the article. Turkey is very unsettled by the autonomy that Kurds in Iraq are going to benefit from.

Undercover Christian said...

We shall rise up against the tyranny of W and Q! We shall exile them from our lands! We shall purge all memories of them! The terrible reign of W and Q ends today!

Drew W said...

This story about the banning of "Q" and "W" by Turkish authorities has been fun, but unfortunately delivers less insanity than it promises, once you recognize it as one government's crude attempt to thwart perceived nationalism within its borders.

What this story needs is a divinely loony -- although without a doubt vicious and dictatorial -- character like Saparmurat Niyazov, President of Turkmenistan. The self-anointed Turkmenbashi (Great Leader Of The Turkmen), with behavior that recalls Woody Allen's wacko South American dictator in "Bananas," put his own photo on the nation's currency and renamed a major city after himself, as well as one of the months of the year. (A devoted son, he named another month after his mother.) Surely, a maestro of megalomania such as Niyazov would think nothing of banning letters of the alphabet, and possibly a few numerals as well, just for good measure. Or maybe he would simply rename the inconvenient letters after himself or other members of his family.

Now I was going to make a wisecrack about how that Turkish ban on the letter "W" must really play hell with people's Internet addresses over there, but I stopped myself before I got all First-World snooty over this story. If the Akaka Bill -- legislation currently proposed to give exclusive benefits to ethnic Hawaiians -- ever goes through, it could start a slide down one slippery volcanic slope. Since Hawaiian only uses around 14 letters, it would spell trouble for anyone seeking to use the complete Roman alphabet on those sunny islands.