MED-DER co-chair Kan says Kurdish language should be used in daily life

MED-DER co-chair Şilan Kan said that the Kurdish language should be used in daily life, thus gaining an official dimension in all institutional structures and society.

Mesopotamia Language and Culture Research Association (MED-DER), which works for the development of Kurdish and its use in social life, aims to expand the usage areas of the language by giving courses in Kurdish.

Speaking to ANF, MED-DER co-chair Şilan Kan said that history, culture and sociality are all formed by language. Reminding that the main feature that distinguishes a nation from another nation is language, she said that the relationship between nation and language should be well known.

She said that the Kurdish language has been ignored for nearly a hundred years and added that the Kurdish people are actually a banned people because their language is banned. “Kurds were leading a more natural life in their villages before the forced deportations, and thus the Kurdish language was also protected. Its use decreased day by day with urbanization. Even speaking Kurdish was condemned. However, Kurdish is a very rich language, but when Turkish became the language of education and power, Kurdish began to move towards extinction.”

Kurdish must be the language of politics

Noting that the Kurdish language was saved from extinction with the support of society, intellectuals and linguists, Kan continued: “The Kurdish language is no longer subject to social denial as it used to be, but it still needs stronger recognition. When acting with the consciousness of the nation, the language also protects and develops itself. If this awareness is not acted upon, the language does not have a chance to keep itself alive. For example, we have been working institutionally for the development and survival of the Kurdish language for years. And we can see important results. We also know that it has positive effects on Kurdish politics. The language of a politics that fights for the rights and freedoms of the Kurds should also be Kurdish. We have already established a language platform that brings together various Kurdish parties, civil society and other institutions. The most important thing is that the Kurdish language should be used in daily life by gaining an official dimension in all institutional structures and society.”

To learn Kurdish, we must resist

Kan said that Kurdish children between the ages of 5-10 do not know their mother tongue very well, and young people who are in high school or university age should claim their language more. “These data are not bad, of course, but they could be better. Families should encourage their children to learn their mother tongue. They should also establish communication with their children in the family in Kurdish. None of us knew Turkish. We learned it when we began going to school. In fact, we speak their language better than the Turks, because they made Turkish obligatory for us. This understanding and effort needs to be made for Kurdish as well. We should show the same sensitivity and persistence in learning, speaking and writing Kurdish.”