The letters have been banned because they are associated with the Kurdish language, which is banned in Turkey. Kurdish people make up about a fifth of the country’s population, which is around 15-20 million people. Many disagreed with the ban, since so many words from English and other languages do use the letters.
“You have one of the biggest TV channels, like Show TV, that has a ‘w’ in its name,” Welat Zeydanlioglu of the Kurdish Studies Network told PRI.org. “And you have major companies that use these letters. It’s when Kurds have used them when using their language that they have been persecuted.”