Kurdish Language Feast Observed in Turkey

BIANET 17.5.2013 – On May 15 Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) observed Cejna Zimanê Kurdî, the term in Kurdish for Kurdish Language Feast. May 15 marks the publishing start date of Hawar, a Kurdish magazine edited by Celadet Alî Bedirxan. The magazine is considered as the first publication in Kurdish where Latin alphabet was used.

Hawar raised several literary people

Releasing 57 issues until 1943, the magazine influenced several literary people including Cegerxwîn, Qedrîcan and Osman Sebrî. It also set a milestone with Bedirxan’s articles on the first attempts to create a Kurdish grammar system.

“People who grew up reading Hawar had a massive influence and contribution on the current education system in Federal Kurdistan Region, Kurdish institutes in Europe and Kurdish departments in Turkey’s universities,” a BDP statement said.  It also emphasized that the ban of a language would also mean a society’s historical and cultural heritage. “A society can only survive as long as it can use its mother tongue in a variety of places every day life including education, media, publishing, organization and politics.”

“Kurdish still regarded as alien language”

The statement also reminded the ongoing “ban on mother tongue’ in Turkey, almost since its foundation. “The name of Kurdish language still doesn’t appear in legal documents. Sometimes it is recognized as a local language, sometimes it is considered as foreign language. 2 hours of language courses in public schools is not giving rights to Kurdish people. Kurdish language can’t be restrained to 2 hours. And Kurdish TV right is an illusion too. There is no legal foundation on state television in Kurdish (TRT 6) and it is in the hands of religious organizations.” It also complaint that testimony right, paid and limited, constituted a major challenge on fair trials in Turkey. “All obstacles on Kurdish language are still there. But some are trying to give the impression that these obstacles don’t exist.” (NV/BM)