PM strictly rules out education in Kurdish
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Education in mother tongues is one of the demands the PKK, Erdoğan says. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 9 clearly ruled out the possibility of public education in languages other than Turkish, including such “mother tongues” as Kurdish.
“Education in the mother tongue. There is no such thing. Our country’s official language is Turkish,” Erdoğan said, addressing the parliamentary group of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Education in mother tongues is one of the demands the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is exploiting in its campaign of separatist terrorism, Erdoğan said. The government has fulfilled its duty by granting students the right to study Kurdish as an elective course, which was introduced this school year, he said. Some European countries have also been exploiting the issue of education in mother tongues, although Turkish is not being taught as a mother tongue in those countries, Erdoğan said.
Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş swiftly responded to Erdoğan’s comments about European countries’ attitude on the issue.
“He [Erdoğan] cites [Europe as] an example, saying ‘Is there education in mother tongues [Turkish] in Germany and France?’ Look, there is not a Turkey in Germany; there is not a Turkey in France. But there is a Kurdistan in Turkey. That’s why Kurds have the right to education in their mother tongue from birth. You cannot eliminate this reality just because you don’t understand it,” Demirtaş said.