The 21 February Language Commission, formed by the Kurdish Language and Culture Network and the Kurdish Language Platform, has launched a petition campaign to make Kurdish an official language as well as a language of education in Turkey.
More than 6,000 signatures were collected online in three days and the organisers have called upon the public to support the campaign. Zuhal Tekiner, one of the campaign coordinators, and the Mesopotamia Language and Cultural Research Association (MED-DER) representative Murat Bilgiç, stated that the campaign was launched to promote Kurdish education. “This campaign hopes to eliminate barriers to the language given the policy of oppression and denial on the Kurdish language for the past century”, Tekiner said.
She noted that Kurdish had been banned in this country and is still considered as an “unknown language” in many official institutions. ”The people want to learn their language. We must pave the way for this. We started with a signature campaign, but in the next days, new campaigns can be started”, she said.
MED-DER representative Murat Bilgiç stated that the Kurds demand that “the Kurdish language has a status” and called upon everyone to promote and support the petition campaign.