Kurdish teachers start hunger strike for appointments
İdris Emen ISTANBULA group of 20 graduates from the Kurdish Department of the Living Languages Institute at Mardin’s Artuklu University began a hunger strike 18 days ago, demanding their appointments as Kurdish teachers.
The graduates said students are not able to choose Kurdish as a selective class due to the lack of Kurdish teachers at schools, adding they will continue the strike until the Education Ministry appoints the number of teachers sufficient enough to meet to the demand.
Kurdish became an optional class in secondary schools in 2012.
The graduates are alternating their participation in the hunger strike, which is being supported by the Eğitim-Sen and Eğitim Bir Sen education unions.
A spokesperson from the Kurdish Teachers Platform, Yunus Aslan, said there are 1,700 Kurdish teachers waiting for their appointments.
“Nobody from the ministry has contacted us regarding our appointments so far. We have heard that 20 Kurdish teachers will be appointed this year. This, sadly, is a deficient number,” Aslan said. “According to the data from the ministry, 22,000 people chose Kurdish as an elective course this year across Turkey. There will be one Kurdish teacher for every 1,100 students if only 20 teachers are assigned.”
Yunus underlined that they do not want symbolic appointments, but the sufficient number of personnel to be assigned to schools.
Meanwhile, a gunfight took place between the security forces and outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in the Lice district of Diyarbakır on Sept. 11, after security officials went to a rural area to inspect claims of a “pirate school” being constructed by the militants.
No casualties were reported after the gunfight in the Yalaza village of Lice.
The security forces visited the village after reports that PKK supporters had started the construction of a school building where the education would be in Kurdish, without the authority of the Education Ministry. Helicopters also supported the security forces in their visit.