“Bilingual Life” Project Fuels Interest in Kurdish Language

Besim Baykal, President of the Kurdish KURD?-DER association, sees education in the mother tongue as a key to a solution of the Kurdish question. In the course of the recent discussion on the “bilingual life” project, applications for language courses rocketed.
Berivan TAPAN
While discussions on a “Bilingual Life” sparked by the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) are still continuing, the number of applications for Kurdish language courses made to the Kurdish Language Research and Development Association (KURD?-DER) rises day by day.
Besim Baykal
, President of KURD?-DER, an organization located in Yüksekova in the south-eastern province of Hakkari, said that people of almost all ages and professions applied to the association for courses in their mother tongue, as reported by the Yüksekova news site. According to Baykal, the total number of participants amounts to 600 people.
Baykal remembered the concerns of the citizens when the association was first founded. “After the influence of years of denying and destructive policies, the citizens wondered whether somebody would complain about them and whether they would become the subject of an investigation if they were seen here”.
However, Baykal indicated that in recent times the people’s interest for the Kurdish language increased in the course of the discussion on a “bilingual life”.
“Local shop keepers apply to the association to learn the original Kurdish names [of their businesses] in order to be able to change the sign boards of the shops. The ‘Bilingual Life’ project initiated by the BDP and DTK is being fully supported by the TZP Kurdi and the KURDI-DER”, Bakal assured.
“Language is the key to solving the Kurdish question”
“This project is very important in terms of maintaining the Kurdish language and culture and also regarding its impact on the public. This is an utterly legitimate and rightful demand of a people that has been living on Mesopotamian grounds for thousands of years and was not given any concession on its own culture, language and values. The project is very important to implement a basis in everyday life for the practice of the Kurdish language and culture which the state tried to ignore persistently”. In Baykal’s opinion, the negative attitude of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) towards the discussions of a ‘Bilingual Life’ insisting on “One language, one nation and one flag” does not help in finding a solution to the Kurdish question. “This kind of approach deepens the problem and pushes it away from a solution. Education in the mother tongue is the key to a solution of the Kurdish question”, Bakal claimed.

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