The Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Education Committee has published a written statement for International Mother Language Day on 21 February.
The KCK pointed out in the statement that language was not only a tool for communication, but was also an indispensable aspect of people’s identity and culture.
“According to UNESCO data, 40% of the world population cannot access education in the language they speak or understand”, stated the KCK, adding that every two weeks a language becomes extinct. The KCK also pointed out that according to Article 42 of Turkey’s constitution “No language other than Turkish can be taught to Turkish citizens in education”. This article disregards entire peoples and cultures, said the KCK, and added that following this policy Turkey closed the TV channels, news agencies, magazines, and radio channels which publish or broadcast in Kurdish.
The KCK also mentioned the Kurdish language teacher Zara Muhammed who has been sentenced to five years of imprisonment for teaching Kurdish to her students in her village in Iran, and Ferzad Kemanger, another Kurdish language teacher, who was executed by Iran in 2010. “Against all these assimilation policies, we have to defend the education model in North and East Syria which respects all cultures and languages”, said the KCK.
“As the KCK Education Committee, we would like to state once again for International Mother Language Day: the right to an education in one’s mother language is a universal right. Our people should see speaking and writing in the mother language as fundamental and should fight through all obstacles”.