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Women political prisoners in Turkey urge EU states to recognise Kurdish language

29.05.2021
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As part of the campaign for Kurdish to be recognised as an official language in Turkey, women political prisoners sent a letter to the EU.

The Kurdish language has been denied and banned in Turkey as part of discriminatory state policies towards the Kurds. The status of the Kurdish language still remains a “controversial” issue in the country.

The Kurdish Language and Culture Network (Tora Ziman û Çanda Kurdî) and the Kurdish Language Platform, which includes nine Kurdish political parties, launched a campaign on 21 February demanding education in Kurdish starting from primary school, as well as recognition of Kurdish as an official language in Turkey.

The Kurdish Language Movement (HezKurd) applied to UNESCO to have Kurdish as the language of education. “We warn the governments that education in the mother language is legitimate,” said UNESCO in response to the application.

Political prisoners jailed in Ankara’s Sincan Women’s Closed Prison wrote a letter addressed to the states of the European Union (EU) to give support to the ongoing campaign for the recognition of the Kurdish language, Jin News reports.

Medya News is happy to share a translation of an excerpt from the letter below:

”The reason why we write this letter is because we demand you to act against the assimilation policies on the Kurdish language and to accept Kurdish as an officially recognised language.

“One of the very basic problems we suffer from, as the Kurdish people, is the assimilation policies towards Kurdish. As you know, the language is the key to the emotions, the thoughts, the morals and the existence of a society. It is the responsibility of humanity to protect a language, because language is cultural heritage. The mentality of the nation-state seeks to destroy our language, but the more we claim our language, the more we are able to resist such a mentality.

“The main policy applied to the Kurdish people is the assimilation policy targeting their language and culture. Especially during the modern capitalist era, these policies are conducted with the most strict methods by the hands of the nation-states.

”It is known that there are more than 40 million Kurds who have spread around the four parts of Kurdistan and the world. Kurdish people have more than a 15,000 years of history. This deep-rooted people mainly live within the borders of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Therefore, Kurds are known by the identities of these states and they have to use the languages of these states. In order to survive, the Kurds are forced to deny their own selves and their own language.

”The right to receive education in our mother language is an internationally recognised right, but in this country [Turkey] our right has long been violated. Kurdish people have been waging an honorable struggle to preserve their language.

“The states of the EU should not turn a blind eye to these facts. We demand that our language is recognised officially and internationally.”

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