Kurdish intellectuals urge Kurds to reclaim their language

Historian and writer İhsan Colemêrgî said that every Kurdish person, particularly patriots, should turn their homes into Kurdish education centres to save the Kurdish language.

Speaking to ANF, Kurdish writers İhsan Colemêrgî, Nezir Ölçek and İkram İşler emphasized that it is a serious danger that Kurdish children start speaking Turkish. The writers said that Kurdish speaking, writing and living should be prioritized starting at home.

Kurdish historian and writer İhsan Colemêrgi stated that language is the memory of the oppressed peoples, and that the sovereign powers give priority to eliminating their language. Colemêrgi remarked that the Turkish state has increased its violent attacks on language and culture by taking advantage of the disunity among the Kurds. “By increasing the number of educational institutions, they are trying to make the Kurds forget their own language and culture. Kurdish children who are two or three years old and start to speak no longer speak Kurdish.”


Colemêrgî stated that the Kurdish people can overcome or at least reduce all obstacles to the Kurdish language. “The Kurds are prevented from conducting studies on their own language. Therefore, the Kurdish people and politicians should make more efforts to protect the Kurdish language. Kurdish patriots should turn their homes into educational centres to save the language.”


Kurdish writer Nezir Ölçek said that the Kurdish language has remained under the influence of the cultures of Arabs, Turks and Persians. For Ölçek, Kurdish intellectuals, writers, artists and those who want to contribute to the development of this language, should confront foreign influence. He added that the Kurdish language and culture should be saved from the yoke of other cultures.


Ölçek remarked that he encountered Kurdish children on the streets speaking Turkish, not their mother tongue. “We see that children, who are the future of our language and culture, are raised in another language and culture. We should raise our children with stories, tales and lullabies in their own language. We should protect our children. Everyone should work harder on this issue. The Kurds should raise their children with their own language and culture. Every Kurd should turn her/his own house into a school. They should speak Kurdish and live with the Kurdish culture.”


Kurdish writer İkram İşler pointed out that children are starting to speak Turkish. “The Kurdish language is fading into oblivion among the last generation. The Kurds will definitely get through this. The situation will be reversed. We are hopeful about that,” he said.

İşler pointed out that the Kurds will face serious problems in the future if they do nothing. “Our children did not know Turkish a generation ago, yet they now speak it because of the assimilation policies. We should keep our language and culture alive at home. We should watch television in our own language, live in our own language, and express our thoughts in our own language. We should get rid of assimilation. All our intellectuals need to pull themselves together. All our journalists and writers should pay special attention to the Kurdish language.”