German-Turkish Academics to teach Zaza in Turkey
TUNCELI- Hürriyet Daily NewsA university in eastern Turkey has opened a Zaza language department with academics brought from other countries due to lack of staff already skilled in the specific Kurdish dialect.
The university could not find academic staff for the department within Turkey but searched for skilled teachers with doctorate degrees in Zaza in Germany, Rector of Tunceli University Dr. Durmuş Boztuğ said, daily Bugün reported yesterday.
The university’s language department would work with three academics, Zülfü Selcan, Şengül Şenol and İlyas Arslan, all of whom are from Tunceli but posses German citizenship.
The new language department highlights the current democratization and progressive change happening in Turkey, Selcan said. “Language bans are the main reason for restlessness in this country. These bans disturb people living in these regions. There are 3 to 5 million people who speak the Zaza language. The State legitimizing this community’s language and teaching it to students at a university level is pleasing and important for showing the point of democratization Turkey has arrived at,” Selcan said.
Departments on the rise
Mardin Artuklu University opened a Kurdish language and literature department within the institution of Living Languages in 2009. The university also started a Kurdish language and literature program which provides a four-year undergraduate education within the Faculty of Literature last year. A Kurdish language and literature program also opened in Muş Alparslan University Bingöl University as well.