The Onur neighbourhood of Seyhan in Adana is mainly populated by Kurds. The school administration of a middle school there have placed racist slogans on the stairs, saying things like, “Speak Turkish or keep quiet.” MA reports.
Slogans relating to the Turkish language have been noticed on the stairs of 125. Yıl Middle School in Seyhan. Racist slogans were included among sentences about the Turkish language that have been stuck to each of the ten steps in the flight of stairs. Some of the sentences are faded, and among them are the following:
“Do not be ashamed of our language”, “Speak Turkish or keep quiet!”, “To be Turkish is to speak Turkish”, “There is nothing wrong with Turkish, is there something wrong with you?”, “Do not be ashamed of Turkish”, “Who loses their language loses their country”.
The Onur neighbourhood, where the school in question is located, is a neighbourhood mostly populated by Kurds, and parents and guardians reacted angrily to the racist and discriminatory sentences, demanding that they be removed.
Kurdish children in İdil (Hezex) in Şırnas (Şırnex) also experience racist behaviour. A Kurdish student, initials K.S., at the İmam Hatip Middle School in İdil, was subjected to violence from a teacher for laughing during the national anthem. MA reported that the teacher said to the student:
“Who are you to laugh at our honourable anthem? You don’t even have an anthem. You Kurds can only dance halay (the name of a Kurdish national dance)”
The family of K.S. complained to the school administration about the teacher.
It has been reported that the family will make an additional complaint about the teacher to the İdil District Directorate of Education tomorrow.
Meanwhile the campaign for the Kurdish language to be recognised as an official language and a language of education has been ongoing in Turkey since February.
A petition aiming to make Kurdish an official language as well as a language of education in Turkey was initiated by the 21 February Language Commission, and has been ongoing since its launch in February. The Commission was formed by the Kurdish Language and Culture Network and the Kurdish Language Platform.