Advocates push for Kurdish in classrooms as schools reopen in Turkey
A group in Turkey's Kurdish majority Diyarbakir province voiced renewed calls for the recognition and integration of Kurdish as an official language of instruction on Monday as primary and secondary educational institutions reopened following the summer break.
The Mesopotamia Language and Culture Research Association (MED-DER) was at the forefront of this significant initiative, hosting a press conference in the Bağlar Koşuyolu Park to rally support for their cause. They emphasized the critical importance of linguistic diversity and representation in fostering an inclusive educational environment.
At the event, a banner with the Kurdish phrase “Bila zimane Kurdî bibe zimanê fermî û perverdehiyê”, translating to “Let the Kurdish language become the formal and educational language”, marked the firm stance of the association on this matter. Abdusamed Ucaman, the spokesperson for the Diyarbakır Urban Protection and Solidarity Platform, was vocal about the need for community solidarity in safeguarding the Kurdish culture and language. He encouraged the general public to sustain their linguistic heritage and to lend their support to initiatives fostering cultural respect and understanding.
In unison with Ucaman, Hayrettin Altun, the Co-Chair of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP) in Diyarbakır, criticized the ongoing marginalization of the Kurdish language. He called for an increase in the appointment of Kurdish teachers, proportional to the number of Kurdish speakers in the region, urging for its recognition not only as a language of education but also as an official language. Altun strongly opposed the continued assimilation practices and vowed to persevere in the fight against the systemic denial of the Kurdish language, which he noted, should not be relegated to a mere 'X' in official documents.
Adding further depth to the discourse, MED-DER Director Dilan Güvenç shed light on the enduring efforts of the Kurdish community in preserving their cultural and linguistic heritage. She underscored that the quest for linguistic freedom remained at the heart of their struggle, echoing the collective demand for the inclusion of Kurdish as an official language and medium of instruction at all educational levels.