Turkey: Students Call for Education in Kurdish

University students in Istanbul reiterated the demand for education in the mother language on the occasion of the International Mother Language Day. One student gave a symbolic Kurdish lesson next to the campus of the Yıldız Technical University.

The Youth Platform for the Brotherhood of People marked the International Mother Language Day on 21 February with their demand for education in the mother language for the Kurdish people. The platform members claimed education in the mother language to be a fundamental human right.

About 50 students joined the action organized right next to the campus of the Yıldız Technical University in Istanbul. They shouted slogans in Turkish as well as Kurdish, calling for “equal and scientific education in the mother language free of charge”, and chanting, “Long live the peoples’ brotherhood”, “Oppression does not stop us”, “The universities belong to us, they will be liberated by us”, “Barricades against gangs, not against students” and “Custody, arrests and raids will not stop us”.

The students posted a banner reading, “Language is life – education in the mother language is a right”. In a symbolic lesson, student Erdal Beşer taught the Kurdish alphabet that includes the letters X, Q and W, which are not common in Turkish.

The press release was read out in Kurdish and Turkish. Student Türkan Yıldız said in the Turkish part that today’s significance corresponded to the mother language of the Kurdish people and their right to education in their mother language in the geographical region they were living in.

“The most natural right of a person is the right to education in his/her mother language which is not being recognized by the Turkish state and the government of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). The people advocating for education in the mother language are called ‘separatists'”, Yıldız said.

He mentioned international agreements that grant the right to the use of the mother language and to education in the mother language. Yıldız emphasized that Turkey has not signed most of these agreements and requested to accept their demand for education in the mother language.

“We will advocate for our mother language and education in our mother language until the end. Nobody will be cut off from his/her mother language and nobody will be assimilated. That is a crime on humanity. Our demand for education in our mother language is our most basic human right and should be accepted as soon as possible”.

 

Istanbul – BİA News Center

22 February 2011

Elif GENÇKAL

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