News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
(ANF/SİİRT) The Siirt Provincial Branch of the KURDÎ-DER has released a statement as part of their celebrations Kurdish Language Day on May 15. The statement argued that Kurdish politicians and mayors must not wait for the state to act on the question of Kurdish language education and urged them to begin their own work around the subject.
The statement was read at a press conference in front of the Siirt branch of the Human Rights Association (İHD). The press conference was attended by the co-president of the Siirt branch of KURDÎ-DER Halil Kaya, members of MAPER, TUHAD-DER, MKM, İHD, the Council of Peace Mothers, the Berfîn Women’s Solidarity Center, officials from KESK, BDP provincial and district officers, Siirt Co-mayor Belkiza Beştaş Epözdemir, Kurdish politician Selim Sadak, members of the Botan Democracy Student Association, and many members of the general public.
Those attending unfurled banners reading “15’ê Gulanê Cejna Zimanê kurdî pîroz be” (Happy May 15th Kurdish Language Day) and “Bi zimanê azad, ber bi nasnameya azad ve” (With a free language toward a free identity); and wore t-shirts bearing the slogans “Ziman neynika gel e” (Language is the mirror of the people), “Sînorê zimanê min, sînorê cihana min e” (The borders of my language are the borders of my world) and “Ziman zanîn e, zanîn xwenasîn e” (Language is knowledge and knowledge is knowing oneself).
The crowd also shouted slogans such as “Zimanê me rûmeta me ye” (Our language is our honor), “Bê ziman jiyan nabe” (There is no life without language) and “Jin, ziman û azadî” (Woman, language and freedom).
Co-president of the Siirt branch of KURDÎ-DER Halil Kaya read out the statement. Kaya began by extending condolences to the people of Soma following the mining disaster that has left over 300 dead.
Kaya then went to explain the origins of the holiday, recalling how on Celadet Elî Bedirxan published the journal Hawar, the first Kurdish language journal, on May 15, 1932. Kaya then went on to condemn the AKP government and the Turkish state for denying Kurds their natural and foundational to mother-tongue education and for their denialist and assimilationist policies.
Kaya accused the government and the state of attempting to deceive the Kurdish people with TRT6, Kurdish institutes in Turkish universities, elective courses and private Kurdish language schools, asking “what kind of contradiction is this? For the Turkish language there are hundreds of thousands of state schools, for the Kurdish language there are only private schools charging tuition! The AKP government and the state must immediately apologize to the Kurdish people and if they are going to talk about brotherhood among the people then they must immediately recognize the foundational rights and freedoms of the Kurdish people.”