The Kurdish Language Volunteers Union (DİLKURD) has launched an appeal for students to select optional Kurdish courses (Kurmancî and Zazakî dialects) as part of the ‘Living Languages and Dialects’ course offered in middle schools (grades 5 to 8), according to the curriculum outlined by Turkey’s National Education Ministry.
In a press statement in Sheikh Said Square in Diyarbakir (Amed) on Sunday, DILKURD appealed to Kurdish students and their families to opt for these courses, emphasising the importance of preserving their mother tongue. DILKURD Coordinator Fevzi Bulgan, who read the statement, expressed the union’s expectation of support from international organisations, artistic communities and human rights advocates. “Our language is our existence, our homeland, our honour,” Bulgan stated.
Furthermore, DILKURD has prepared reports on the challenges faced in offering Kurdish language courses in schools, universities and public education centres. These reports have been submitted to the relevant authorities, with DILKURD requesting the removal of obstacles to facilitate the teaching of the Kurdish language. This initiative represents a significant step towards linguistic diversity and cultural preservation in Turkey’s education system.
In Turkey, the subject of mother tongue education, particularly in Kurdish, has been a contentious issue for decades. While the country’s constitution recognises Turkish as the only official language, there has been growing advocacy for the inclusion of Kurdish – spoken by a significant portion of the population, particularly in the Kurdish-majority southeastern regions.