28 years in the service of the Kurdish language

The Kurdish Institute of Istanbul was founded 28 years ago to promote the Kurdish language and culture. Already on the day of the opening the first raid took place.

28 years ago, on 18 April 1992, the Kurdish Institute of Istanbul (Enstîtuya Kurdî ya Stenbolê) was founded to promote the Kurdish language, culture and literature. Because the institute was banned, its work has been continued since March 2017 as the "Association for Kurdish Studies" (Komeleya Lêkolînên Kurdî). During the time of the Corona pandemic, it offers online language courses, which are now attended by over a thousand people.

The institute, which was founded in 1992 by intellectuals such as Musa Anter, Ismail Beşikçi, Feqî Huseyn Sagniç, Yaşar Kaya and Cemşid Bender, was closed on 31 December 2016 by emergency decree from the Turkish Ministry of the Interior. In its 28-year history, it has been subject to constant repression. On the very first day, a raid was carried out, during which the police removed the Kurdish language sign on the building. In June 2018, the first conference took place at the institute in Istanbul, with the Yerevan University's Yazidi historian Celîlê Celîl as a speaker. The repression continued and culminated in the murder of the Kurdish writer Musa Anter on September 20, 1992.

The Institute has published over fifty works on the Kurdish language, literature and history, including dictionaries, language course sets and treatises on Kurdish literary history. Since April 15, online courses for Kurmancî and Kirmanckî (Zazakî) have been offered via ZOOM. The Kurmancî course now has 903 participants, the Kirmanckî course 145.