Istanbul mayor supports Kurdish language campaign
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Ekrem Imamoğlu, a member of the Republican People's Party (CHP), told Kurdistan 24 that he hopes all Kurdish citizens will register for Kurdish elective courses.
If enough students register for elective courses in the Kurdish dialects of Kurmanji and Zazaki before the deadline of Jan. 21, Kurdish students can study their mother tongue for a few hours per week.
"I hope that all Kurdish citizens who are interested go and choose this Kurdish course and register," Imamoğlu said.
"Every citizen living in the Republic of Turkey has the right to learn their language," he added. "It's their citizenship's right."
Zimanên Kurdî û Zazakî êdî dikarin wek dersên hilbijartî werin hilbijartin, roja dawî heta 21ê Çile ye.❤️— Aynur Doğan (@aynurdogan) January 18, 2022
Kürtçe ve Zazaca dilleri artık seçmeli ders olarak seçilebiliyor, son başvuru tarihi 21 Ocak.❤️#Kurdihilbijerin #kurdihilbijere
Kurmanji dialect is the most widely spoken Kurdish dialect across Greater Kurdistan and the only one that has speakers in all four parts of the Kurdish homeland in Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria, respectively. Zazaki is only spoken among Kurds in Turkey.
Kurdish parties, artists, and institutions have launched a campaign for the elective courses under the name Kurdî Hilbijêre (select Kurdish).
The use of Kurdish in public was banned in Turkey in the 1990s, and Kurds were not allowed to learn their mother tongue.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has offered Kurdish as an elective subject since 2012.
However, since a peace process between the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Turkish government collapsed in mid-2015, the Turkish government has again limited Kurdish language signs in public, justifying it on the basis of a ban on "PKK propaganda."
As a result, there were restrictions for kindergartens, city theaters, and cultural clubs operating in the Kurdish language.