Should Kurdish be an elective course in Turkey?

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan announced Kurdish indeed will be taught as an elective course, putting an end to all the rumors about the issue 2 days ago in his party’s group assembly in the Parliament.

Kurdish had been taught in universities since 2009, however with this step there is a chance to learn it at a younger age in school. In the assembly, RTE said “For decades, Turkey has witnessed times where minorities dominated majorities with its non-democratic decisions and their suppressive implementation. Those who have been ostracized for years are becoming equal citizens and this should not be misinterpreted. What we are witnessing in Turkey right now is a process of normalization and normalization only.” He added that Kurdish will be taught on condition that a certain number is reached.

Kurds make up around a fifth of Turkey’s population. Some see this move as a privilege given to a minority, some as a natural right, some as a reaction too little too late. I had mentioned in my previous articles that most BDP members are not satisfied with the decision, however some beg to differ. Leyla Zana, one of the most famous and influential Kurdish politicians in Turkey, declared her support to the decision; while Gokhan Gunaydin, Vice President of CHP (the main opposition party) declared it a “natural process.”


Zana, who saw the move as a step forward, also talked about the Kurdish issue stating “I believe Erdogan can solve this. i have lost neither faith nor hope in him doing so, and I do not want to either.”

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Author: Merisa Sahin

Merisa is from Istanbul, Turkey. She is currently studying Political Science & International Relations in Bogazici University. She is very much interested in Human Rights and wishes to build a career in that field.

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