Kurdish Language Workshop:Today our language, tomorrow our nation

As a result of the discussions among Kurdish language experts, a road map of activities for Kurdish language will be determined.

Representatives of the nine parties that joined forces in the Kurdish language Platform have presented the Language Workshop at the Plaza Hotel.

The Platform is composed by Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Democratic Regions Party (BDP), the Freedom and Socialism Party (ÖSP), the Kurdistan Democratic Party-Bakur (PDK-B), the Kurdistan Democratic Party-Turkey (PDK-T), the Kurdistan Socialist Party (PSK), the Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK), the Human and Freedom Party and the Azadi Movement.

The campaign has been launched with the slogan "Today our mother tongue, tomorrow our nation".

Many deputies, party presidents, writers, poets, linguists, activists are joining the workshop. PDK-T spokesperson, Şerefhan Ciziri delivered the opening speech at the workshop. Şerefhan said that the assimilation policies on Kurdish language continued to be a serious threat and said, "If we lose our language, we will lose our nation."

The President of the Council, Language Scientist Mülkiye Birtane, explained the importance of the Workshop. "Now the existence of Kurds is accepted, but the basic rights are being denied. And the first of these rights is education in one's mother tongue. But this right is being denied through assimilation policies".

The spokesperson of the Azadi Movement, Ayatullah Aşiti, quoted the Quran saying that it is imperative to learn the mother tongue.

DBP Diyarbakir Provincial co-chair, Ibrahim, Çiçek, said that the language is history and culture and that the culture and history constitute the existence assets which are under attack today.

"If we don't take action for our language today - Çiçek said - tomorrow our children and grandchildren will hold us accountable for it. It is our human and moral responsibility to protect and improve our language. In all four parts of Kurdistan the achievements we made are under attack and threat. The strongest answer to these attacks will be national unity".

HDP Batman MP Feleknas Uca stressed that those who want to destroy the existence of Kurdistan by attacking their language continue their systematic assimilation policies through the State-appointed trustees.

Underlining that Kurdish parties have taken a historic step against these attacks, Uca called for support for this campaign.

ÖSP general president, Sinan Çiftyürek, said that the Kurdish language is being spoken less and less with each passing day, in every sphere of public life. It is necessary to make steps to protect and defend this process, he said.

Vahid Aba, vice-president of the Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK), noted that a strong policy would be needed for this important work to be successful.

PDK-Bakur Chairman, Sertac Bucak, said: "Kurdish is the language of all Kurds. Therefore, representatives of each group and party representing the Kurds should be on this Platform".

KDP-T President Mehmet Emin Kardaş stated: "Language is linked to land. The language that is not connected to the land is never officialized and cannot obtain a status. Today they do not see us as a nation because of the ban on our language. Kurdish is a very rich language and is alive today. However, today a struggle for existence and against destruction is being waged. The struggle for language is the common struggle of all Kurds".

Final declaration to be published on Tuesday

After the speeches, there was a break.

Then three groups were formed to carry out different tasks in the workshop.

The first group was made of Kurdish political parties that should address specific demands on the agenda. In this sense the demand is for Kurdish language to be recognized as an official language and a language of education.

The second group is involved in communicating these demands by undertaking initiatives before the government and the bureaucracy.

In the third group politicians and lawyers are studying the treaties and agreements which Turkey has signed. The issue will be taken to the United Nations.

As a result of the discussions among Kurdish language experts, a road map of activities for Kurdish language will be determined.

The final declaration of the workshop will be announced to the public on Tuesday with a press release at the Southeastern Journalists' Association.