Turkey’s Ministry of Education has increased the quota for Kurdish teachers from three to 50 in its new appointment schedule for the 2023-2024 school term, Amida news reported on Saturday.
The Turkish government announced in 2012 for the first time that elective Kurdish language courses would be offered to students in years 5-8 for two hours a week, under the heading “Living Languages and Dialects”.
However, opportunities for students to learn Kurdish have remained minimal from the outset and have been further restricted since the collapse of a peace process between the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in 2015.
Only 82 Kurdish language teachers have been appointed by the ministry in more than 10 years, although around 100 students each year graduate from the Kurdish language departments of the universities.
But this year, the ministry has responded to the calls of civil society organisations demanding a higher number of Kurdish teachers in schools. The quota announced by the ministry includes the appointment of 35 teachers for Kurmanji dialect of Kurdish and 15 teachers for its Zazaki dialect.