'Kurdistan has always existed and will continue to exist'

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Deputy Murat Sarısaç said,“Kurdistan has always existed and will continue to exist”. The Kurdish Language Platform and MED-DER urged the public to promote their language and culture against the pressures.

Reactions to the use of the word “Kurdistan” as well as bans and crackdowns against the Kurdish language have recently sparked a public debate in Turkey. The Kurds have emphasized the importance of confronting the policies of denial.

Şerefxan Cizirî, spokesperson of the Kurdish Language Platform, said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and former prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had also mentioned the word Kurdistan in the past. “The region where the Kurds live is called Kurdistan. Kurdistan will not disappear just because they deny it,” Cizirî reacted.


Cizirî condemned the Turkish authorities that imposed a ban on Mem Ararat's concert on the grounds that “Kurdish songs would be performed”.  He recalled that Kurdish songs have been performed on the state-run TRT Kurdî TV channel for years. He stressed that people should protect their language and culture against these pressures. “Language is essential for a people. Once you lose your language, you cease to be a folk,” he added.


Rêzan Aktum, director of the Mesopotamia Language and Culture Research Association (MED-DER), remarked that the main purpose of the state is to ban the Kurdish language and culture in order to maintain its own power. “The state derives its power from the denial and repressive mindset. Let's unite and fight against this denial and repressive mindset. Let’s speak, think and write in Kurdish in our daily life. We can frustrate these policies only in this way.”


HDP Van Deputy Sarısaç also slammed the hatred towards the use of the word Kurdistan. “If there is a separation today, it is not because of the word Kurdistan, it is because of those who deny a society. There is no need even to discuss Kurdistan. Kurdistan is a reality. Kurdistan is not something that can be legitimized or delegitimized by Erdogan and his predecessors, including the founder of the republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Kurdistan is already legitimate. Kurdistan is a region that has existed for tens of thousands of years and houses the Kurds. This reality has always existed and will continue to exist.”


Sarısaç emphasized that the denial of Kurds and Kurdistan leads to a rollback of democracy in Turkey. He underlined that the Kurdish denial has only served to drift the country into crisis and depression. “Nothing has ever changed in Turkey by attacking Kurds and subjecting them to massacres. On the contrary, the Kurdish denial has caused democratic backsliding. Turkey has never been a good democracy, but now we are even missing that old democracy. Currently, Turkey is desperately missing the constitution introduced following the military coup in 1980. In fact, the Kurdish denial stems from the fact that the Kurdish problem is not resolved, and the state maintains its power based on denial and assimilation. This has not worked and will never work in the future. The Kurds will never abandon their identity, values, language and Kurdistan.”