March on Kurdish Language Day in Amed: Our language is our existence

The messages at the Kurdish Language Day march in Amed read: "Our language is our existence. We will mobilise all our means for our mother tongue."

Mesopotamia Language and Culture Research Association (MED-DER), Kurdish Literary Association, Amed Kurdish Institute, Destar Magazine, Democratic Regions Party (DBP), Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party), Free Women's Movement (TJA) and Amed Labour and Democracy Platform organised a march on 15 May Kurdish Language Day. People gathered at Roboskî Park and marched to Park Orman.

Hundreds of people, including DBP Co-Chairs Çiğdem Kılıçgün Uçar and Keskin Bayındır and DEM Party Co-Chair Tuncer Bakırhan, carried a banner reading "Happy May 15 Kurdish Language Day" in Kurmanji and Kirmanckî dialects of Kurdish. Participants in national costumes chanted "Be ziman jiyan nabe" (No life without language).

The statement was made in Kurmancî and Kirmancki dialects of Kurdish.

Emphasising that the Kurdish language is the value of the Kurdish people, MED-DER Co-President Şükran Yakut said: "Language is the existence and national identity of the Kurds. The freedom of the Kurdish language is the freedom of the Kurdish nation. Kurdish women and mothers and leaders have continued their struggle against all pressures and difficulties. This seed spread by Celadet Elî Bedirxan and his friends has become a fundamental historical source in the development and struggle of the Kurdish language."

Reminding that Hawar magazine started its publication with the words "Hawar is the voice of knowledge, knowledge is knowing oneself, knowing oneself opens the way to freedom and liberation", Şükran Yakut said, "Language is the first condition of existence. This consciousness and history confirm and complete this ancient truth with the words of Mr Abdullah Öcalan: 'Language is the body, take care of your body'. Kurds have struggled with this consciousness, determination and will for the last 50 years, and they are still continuing this unique struggle."

Şükran Yakut continued: "Our people will strengthen their struggle against the governments in all areas of life, especially education in mother tongue. For this purpose, we will start using our language in our political, cultural, artistic and economic activities and realise our unity and solidarity. In this context, this year we will organise programmes in order to raise and spread the struggle to break the isolation on the Kurdish language, which is part of the isolation on Mr. Abdullah Öcalan. We will raise the cry and voice of the Kurdish language everywhere."

DEM Party Co-Chair Tuncer Bakırhan drew attention to the oppression against Kurdish politics, language and culture and said, "Today we cannot celebrate the festival of our language freely. Our language is facing such oppression. Therefore, a great burden falls on our shoulders. We must protect our language against their tyranny. From now on, we will speak, write and think in Kurdish everywhere and at all times. We will focus more on activities that will keep Kurdish culture and language alive. Here, we also call on our co-mayors of municipalities to put further emphasis on Kurdish from now on. Our language is our existence. We will learn our language on streets and avenues and teach it to our people. We will mobilise all our means for this."