The oppressive politics of Turkey against the Kurdish language have been a constant threat since the establishment of the state in the 1920s. It has taken various forms throughout the republic and the shutting of Kurdish institutions is among them.
After a state of emergency was declared in 2016, all branches of KURDÎ-DER, the institution that provides Kurdish-language education for students, were shut by the state.
But it did not stop teachers from teaching Kurdish to their students. The Kurdish language is still being taught in online classes set up by the teachers themselves.
Emin Aksu described their dedication to teaching Kurdish: “A person should not work simply for their own end. They must protect their native language. Nothing can guarantee our existence besides protecting our language. That is why we have to protect our language first, because protecting our language is protecting ourselves. Language is xwebûn [be yourself] and xwebûn is existing”.