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Kurdish to be spoken for first time in Turkish theatre

ANKARA, Sept 23, 2009 (AFP) — A Turkish national theatre will break a longheld taboo and for the first time speak some dialogue in the Kurdish language, which used to be banned, Anatolia news agency reported Tuesday.

The play entitled "Long live death", by well-known Turkish writer Orhan Asena, deals with vendettas and so-called "honour crimes", centuries-old traditions particularly in the mainly Kurdish southeast of the country, the agency said.

The play is in Turkish but will include some dialogue in the Kurdish language because it takes place in a Kurdish region, the play's director, Tamer Levent, told Anatolia.

The play will open on October 1 in Diyarbakir, the main city in the southeast, according to local officials.

For the past month the Turkish government has been preparing a series of measures to increase the democratic participation of the country's Kurds, a move aimed at ending 25 years of insurrection.

The measures are set to be presented to parliament at the start of next month. They are also aimed at boosting Turkey's efforts to meet criteria for eventually joining the European Union.

Turkey has already in the past decade lifted restrictions on the usage of the Kurdish language, and earlier this year launched a public television channel with programmes in Kurdish.

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