KCK Education Committee: Let's embrace our struggle for language and education

The KCK Education Committee said in a statement marking International Mother Language Day, that “Let's embrace our struggle for existence, identity, language and education in all social and legal terms.”

In a written statement, the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Education Committee celebrated the international mother tongue day and called for the protection of the Kurdish language.

Below is the statement released on Tuesday:

“Language signifies identity, freedom of thought and existence. Let's embrace our identity, freedom and existence.

Language, which represents one of the most important elements of humanization and socialization, is the most basic element and communication tool in the creation and development of social culture. In this sense, every language is also a bearer of a culture.

Language is not only the main feature of the formation of social mentality, but also the basic element of social construction. A people is a people only if it can embrace its language. In this sense, language is the main pillar of the collective mind. The development of society is possible with the development of language. However, vice versa: A society that has lost its language is a society that has lost its existence. Because language, like culture, is the memory of societies. It is the expression of the mentality, thought, emotion and moral values of society. The more a society has developed its mother tongue, the more it has improved its living standards. If a society has lost its language under the exploitation and domination of other languages, it means that it is face to face with exploitation, assimilation and genocide.

Many nation-states have become the graveyards of languages due to monistic policies since the beginning of the 20th century. Nation-states hostile to democracy have made monolingual education compulsory in all areas of life through their linguistic and cultural genocide policies. The only way to assimilate a society is to ban its language. Undoubtedly, the greatest destruction that a society can suffer is that it cannot speak its own language and gradually forgets it. It is inevitable for a society that forgets its language to also forget its culture, history, identity and its memory. This leads to social genocide carried out systematically by the nation-states. 

While the language revolution introduced by Kurdish women in Kurdistan tens of thousands of years ago marked a new epoch in the development of humanity, our people, who are leading the revolution, are currently prohibited from reading, writing, speaking, doing politics, even laughing and crying in their own language.

Even though banning the mother tongue, which is the most basic universal right, is defined as cultural genocide by the United Nations and European conventions, Turkish, Persian and Arab nation states have deprived our people of the right to receive education in their mother tongue. The Kurdish language and culture in literature, history and music has been ignored and faced danger of extinction because of the dominant state language and culture.

Following the formation of the nation-states, the Kurds in Bakur (North) and Rojhilat (Iranian) Kurdistan cannot speak their own language and cannot receive education in their mother tongue in schools. The Syrian regime has never favoured a multilingual education system in Rojava and the Autonomous Administration. Despite the presence of a Kurdish government in Bashur (South), the Behdini or Kurmanji dialect has not been recognized as an official language so far. All these facts should be the main reason for every Kurdish person to adopt, protect and develop their mother tongue, regardless of their political views.

As we are marking the 24th international mother language day, the Kurds are still struggling to heal their wounds caused by the earthquake in Bakur and Rojava. Currently, thousands of children, women, men and the elderly are trapped under the rubble. Instead of taking measures against such destruction in advance, the colonial regime seized thousands of student dormitories under the pretext of a possible earthquake, leaving 679 thousand students in Turkey with no accommodation. Face-to-face education has been halted in many universities again on the pretext of the earthquake, allowing the corrupt AKP-MHP government to put all the burden on the shoulders of students. While the government has not yet provided food, water, health, tents for shelter for the survivors, it has started Quran courses in tents for children who do not even have tents to stay in.

As we are marking the 24th international mother language day, the KCK Education Committee is calling on all teachers, academics, education workers and families not to let the Erdogan-Bahceli corrupt government take advantage of the grievances of our people in the earthquake-hit areas. Let's not allow the fascist regime to leave our children to the mercy of criminal religious sects under the guise of religious courses. More than ever, let's embrace our struggle for existence, identity, language and education in all social and legal terms in order to overcome the psychological destruction in children caused by the earthquake.”