Turkey to issue Kurdish version of Koran

An official says Turkey's government will issue an official version of the Koran in the once-banned Kurdish-language. Speaking and publishing in the language became legal in 1991 when Kurdish versions of the Koran appeared in bookstores. Mehmet Gormez, the deputy head of Turkey's state-run religious affairs directorate, said Wednesday that the official version would be an improved interpretation of several existing Kurdish translations. Today, the language is still barred in schools, parliament and other official settings on the grounds that it would divide the country along ethnic lines. Kurds make up about a fifth of Turkey's more than 70 million people.