All-Kurdish school to be completed in Diyarbakır
Faruk Balıkçı DİYARBAKIR / Hürriyet
Locals in a village of Diyarbakır are close to completing a three-story school building in which Kurdish education will be conducted. Hürriyet Photo
Residents of a Diyarbakır village have completed the building of a school, which will start Kurdish education in April, marking a first in Turkey.
People of the Yalaza Village in the Lice district of the predominantly Kurdish-populated Diyarbakır, are close to completing the three-story school building, in which Kurdish education will be held.
According to plans, the first floor will be used for pre-schools and the other two floors will be used for Kurdish education until eighth grade. Turkish and English will be optional lessons in the school.
The move came after the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan sent out a message to Kurdish politicians, reading, “Don’t just wait for the state to do something; do it yourself.”
The government has given a green light on education in mother tongues in private schools as part of the democratization package announced Sept. 30, 2013.
A teacher, Abdullah Pınar, confirmed that they have been following Öcalan’s advice, who is conducting the peace talks with the state despite being jailed in İmralı.
“We are not demanding something from the state, we are building it ourselves,” Pınar said, adding this was the essence of Öcalan’s “democratic nation” remarks, which he referred to in his “cease-fire” speech on Nevruz, March 21, last year.
“Our demand of a Kurdish school and education in our mother tongue are one of the main legs of the democratic nation paradigm,” Pınar said, adding that is how the autonomy will start. “We don’t expect anything from anybody. This school was built entirely by the people’s will and gathering money among themselves.”
“There are hundreds of young women and men that have the capacity to teach. They teach our native language with money. Here, we will do it for free,” Pınar said.
He added that they would try to open the school on April 4, Öcalan’s birthday.