The Mesopotamia Language and Cultural Research Association (MED-DER) Executive Murat Bilgiç spoke to the Mesopotamia News Agency about the 21 February petition launched by the Language Commission to make Kurdish one of the languages of education in Turkey.
The 21 February Language Commission, established by nine Kurdish organisations, including the Kurdish Language Platform and the Kurdish Language and Culture Network (Tora Ziman û Çanda Kurdî), launched a petition on 22 February for the Turkish government to accept Kurdish as an official language for education. So far thousands of people have signed the petition. The goal is to reach one million signatures.
Regarding the campaign, MED-DER Executive Murat Bilgiç said that they would continue the until they reached their goal.
He also spoke about the reasons for starting the campaign. “Turkey’s attitudes towards the Kurdish language and culture are based on assimilation politics,” he said. “It is a known fact that if you want to remove a people, you start from their language. For centuries they have been trying to destroy the language and identity of the Kurdish people with this method.”
‘Turkey does not support the Kurdish Language’
Bilgiç mentioned the contradictory politics of Turkey regarding the subject. “They are attacking our language and culture but at the same time giving the message to Europe as if they are opening a space for Kurdish. This is hypocrisy.”
He recalled the situation of Kurdish language teachers in Turkey. “In the appointments made by the Ministry of National Education for 2021 last month, only three quotas were allocated for Kurdish among 20,000 contracted teachers,” said Bilgiç. “This is a disrespectful to the Kurdish people,” he added.
“We know that all they want is to destroy the Kurdish language,” said Bilgiç. “Whoever we are, which party we are from, this should be a problem for us all. Everyone should support this campaign.”
He also noted that due to the oppressive atmosphere in Turkey, the attempts to spread the campaign are sometimes interrupted. “We will continue to spread our campaign through Kurdish writers and politicians, and we will reach our goal.”
‘All Kurds should embrace the campaign’
He called on Kurdish people everywhere to support the campaign “No one should say that they did not get the signing sheet. This is a campaign for all Kurds and should be embraced by all.”
He underlined that during the 8 March Newroz celebrations, the Kurdish people and their friends expressed their wish for the Kurdish language. “This campaign has to achieve its goal, and it will not end until it does.”