Kurdish to be taught in public schools: Turkey PM
ANKARA - Agence France-Presse
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Hürriyet Daily News photo by Selahattin Sönmez
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday that Kurdish would be taught in public schools, "a historic step" for Turkey.
"Our pupils ... will now be able to learn Kurdish as optional courses if there is a sufficient number (of students)," Erdoğan told his ruling party members in the parliament.
"This is a historic step," he added.
Turkey is home to a sizeable Kurdish population, mostly in its southeast.
Since it came to power in 2002, Erdoğan's government has swept a number of reforms to ease restrictions before Kurdish language and Kurdish broadcasts under pressure from the European Union.
The Kurds can now broadcast in Kurdish, teach their mother tongue in private courses and use it in political life.
But it is the first time Turkish public schools will be offering Kurdish language course at a time Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is criticised for dragging feet on its so-called Kurdish initiative.