Iraqi Parliament votes on the official languages law
Iraqi parliament approved the official language law in Iraq on January 8. This legislation includes the Kurdish language as an official language in all provinces.
"We and our colleagues in the parliamentary committees today approved the official language law in Iraq," said the Chairman of the parliamentary Culture and Media Committee, Ali Shalah.
"As you know, Iraq is a civilized country and we believe that this law is a powerful reminder of the richness of our human civilization,” he added.
"The implementation of the law will confirm Iraq's democracy and respect for its different ethnicities," he said.
The Iraqi permanent constitution stipulates that the Arabic and Kurdish language are the official state languages, while ensuring the right of Iraqis who are neither Kurds nor Arabs-- Turkmen, Syriacs and Armenians, for instance--to educate their children in their own languages in state educational institutions.
The legislation also identified five main areas for the use of the official languages of Arabic and Kurdish, including official newspapers, official correspondence, official documents, schools, and any other fields that require the principle of equality such as bank notes, passports and stamps.
The Constitution recognizes the Turkmen and Syriac languages as official languages in the administrative units where they are present. It also allows each region or province to take a local language as an additional official language if the majority of the population approve the decision in a general referendum.