Kurdish figures’ names to be given to schools in southeastern province
BATMAN – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoThe names of historic Kurdish figures will be given to a number of schools in the southeastern Turkish province of Batman, Provincial Director of National Education Mehmet Çelik has said.
Çelik said they had initiated the name-changing process for public spaces, geographical areas and buildings six months ago, in an effort to support the Kurdish peace process and end clashes between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish military.
The Kurdish peace process reached a turning point on Feb. 28, when jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan called on the PKK to convene a conference to discuss laying down arms after decades of conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.
Çelik said they had initiated the project to name schools after prominent Kurdish public figures, such as Said Nursi and Ahmad Xani, and were expecting to see results by the end of the 2014-2015 school year.
“We do not rush in this matter. What is important is that the process follows its natural course. The process is continuing, and when conditions mature the signboards will be hung,” he said.
Nursi (1878-1960) was an important Kurdish religious figure who published many writings in his time and was jailed by the early Turkish republican authorities. He is regarded as the founder of the Nur Society, a religious community that still has many supporters in Turkey. Xani (1650-1707) was a Kurdish writer, poet and philosopher, who was born in modern Turkey’s southeastern province of Hakkari. He is most well-known for the love story in Kurdish called “Mem and Zin” (Mem û Zîn).
Çelik added that some of the names of the high schools had already been changed, such as the Tigris Anatolian High School or the Mesopotamia Vocational Technical High School.