Iranian father struggling to name daughter in Turkish

Families can only give their children names listed by the Islamic Republic

Mustafa Melih Ahishali   | 26.01.2021
Iranian father struggling to name daughter in Turkish


An Azerbaijani Turk family in Iran has been struggling for months to name their daughter.

“We wanted to name our daughter 'Ayıl', which means 'awakening' and 'revival' in Azerbaijani Turkish. The birth registration office, however, does not accept the name, saying it is not in their list," Seccad Colani in Iran’s northwestern Ardabil province told Anadolu Agency. "My daughter is now 7 months old."

Unless special permission is granted, families in the Islamic Republic can only give their children one of the names in the list determined by the state. The inventory has a limited number of Turkish names.

“It's not just a matter of naming, but a matter of rights and identity. We want to give our children Turkish names that reflect our culture and preferences,” the 34-year-old visually impaired street musician said.

He lamented that because of no ID card, his daughter is not eligible for health care benefits. “My daughter underwent cataract operation three times. Our financial means are limited, we cannot afford hospital expenses,” Colani explained.

He said he even contacted the Tehran population directorate but to no avail. 

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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