Man not allowed a name change because "J seems Kurdish"

A man in Turkey who wanted to change his name to "Gujan" was not allowed by the civil registry on account of the fact that "the letter 'J' appears similar to Kurdish and might be inconvenient"
Friday, 09 March 2018 20:32

Gujan Ceyhan’s, a man living in Turkey’s southern province of Antalya, name problem began in 1986, at his birth.

The civil registry "did not like" the name "Gujan", a Circassian name, and wrote "Güşan" in his identity card, ignoring the request of the parents.

After this date, the name "Güşan" in the ID has never been used in any way, but officially continued to exist on paper.

Gujan, at the age of 32, applied to the Civil Registry to officially change his name as "Gujan" in his identity card after a regulation on name changes passed in the Turkish parliament, but the authorities rejected his application because "the letter 'J' appears similar to Kurdish, so it might be inconvenient."

According to the new regulation, names and surnames that have a semantic change due to misspelling, spelling error or the use of correction marks may be changed for once only with the decision of the provincial and county administration boards without a court decision.

After a series of rejections, Gujan went to the District Registry Office to talk to the Head of the Registry Office about the issue.

The Head of the District Registry Office said regarding the justification of the rejection that "the letter 'J' is not Turkish. We, therefore, rejected your request." However, J is the thirteenth letter in the Turkish alphabet.

Gujan responded to the Head of the Registry Office, who claimed the meanings of "Gujan" and "Güşan" are different, that "My identity card has had 'Güşan' written in it for 32 years, but I do not even know what it means. 'Gujan' means 'brave/sharp heart' in Circassian. Then, tell me the meaning of "Güşan" and let me know it.

This time, the Head of Registry Office said, "Both have no meaning according to the Turkish Language Association (TDK)."

Evaluating his experience to soL news, Gujan stated, "I could not change my name at the end of a very weird process. I consulted with lawyers and they told me that only solution for this issue is to request for name changing by filing a lawsuit."

"Everyone can benefit from this arrangement for once only, but the authorities hindered my right to change the name on the grounds that 'The letter J is Kurdish,' he concluded.  

Gujan Ceyhan will start the judicial process to officially change his name.