Istanbul’s Besiktas municipality investigated for Kurdish street name

The Turkish Ministry of Interior Affairs has started an investigation into Istanbul’s Besiktas municipality’s naming of a street in Kurdish, reports online news site Duvar.

The Besiktas municipality had become a ‘sister council’ with the municipality of Hakkari, a Kurdish province located in the south-eastern tip of the country in 2014. The announcement had come after Besiktas municipality’s Mayor, Murat Hazinedar, visited Hakkari along with 200 students and NGO members from Besiktas on international peace day on 1 September, 2014.

‘Baris Sokak’, meaning ‘Peace Street’, was renamed by the municipality as “Baris-Asiti Sokak” to include the Kurdish word for peace as well in 2015. The Hakkari municipality renamed one of its streets ‘Besiktas Street’ as a return gesture. One-and-a-half years after the renaming of the street, the Ministry of Interior Affairs announced that it has launched an investigation into the renaming of the street.

Whether a criminal investigation will be opened will depend on the “findings” of the inspectors of the Interior Affairs Ministry.