Abdullah Demirbaş is the elected mayor of the Surici district of Diyarbakir/Turkey, a town inhabited mainly by Kurds. One of his aims was to provide municipal services in the languages that the population actually speaks, namely Kurdish, Syriac, Armenian and Arabic, besides the official language, Turkish. Part of this effort was the support for and promoting of the Kurdish translation of the Ubuntu GNU/Linux operating system for computers.
On 14 May 2007 Turkey's Council of State ruled to dismiss him and to dissolve the entire city council because the municipality provided services in languages other than Turkish. The use of other languages than Turkish was deemed a violation of the constitution. There were numerous protests against this decision, among others by members of the European Parliament.
The Diyarbakir chief prosecutor demanded that Demirbaş and Diyarbakir metropolitan mayor Osman Baydemir both be sentenced to a prison term of three and a half years. The trial will start at 7 November 2007.