Language & linguistics news from around the world • Updated daily • Relevant stories, selected by humans (not computers)

Share this site!

Language: Kurdish

  • Apr 18, 2012
  • 11:55 PM

Kurds Push for their Rights in New Turkish Constitution

Hemin Khoshnaw / Rudaw
Turkish officials have been saying that the Kurdish language will not be an official language for education. When Bulent Arinc, deputy prime minister, met with Osman Baydemir, the head of the Diyarbakir municipality, he told him, “We will not adopt studying in the Kurdish language, but Kurdish can be an optional subject in schools.”
  • Apr 18, 2012
  • 05:49 PM

'No obstacle for Turkey to run in Eurovision with a Kurdish song'

Hurriyet Daily News
Artists who represent Turkey in the annual Eurovision song contest are free to compose their works in languages other than Turkish, İbrahim Şahin, director of the country’s state-owned broadcasting station TRT, said yesterday in a written statement.
  • Apr 02, 2012
  • 12:49 PM

Education researcher Ayan Ceyhan: Elective Kurdish course offers too little

Yonca Poyraz Doğan / Today's Zaman
There are positive and negative sides to having Kurdish as an elective course. First of all, Kurds are not a homogenous group of people. There are different groups of Kurdish children in Turkey. When we look at this heterogeneity in terms of language, we see that some of them know little Turkish or no Turkish at all when they start school. There are also those children whose Kurdish and Turkish are at almost the same level.
  • Mar 31, 2012
  • 02:15 AM

Interest drops in Turkey’s minority language courses

Vercihan Ziflioğlu / Hürriyet Daily News
Private courses launched in recent years to teach Turkey’s minority languages have not attracted much attention despite the minimal fees they charge, and some believe the lack of interest in such courses has to do with Turkey’s long-lasting policies.
  • Mar 26, 2012
  • 02:46 PM

The Globe interviews Jaffer Sheyholislami at Diyarbakir Kurdish Language Conference

Jaffer Sheyholislami / Kurdish Globe
They proved that now Kurdish can be a language of civilization, democratic civilization, because you can do with the language these days anything that you want. An example of this is what is happening in south Kurdistan. It is the language of Parliament, of the state, of the university, and a Ph.D can be earned in the language.
  • Mar 17, 2012
  • 08:03 PM

Armenian language courses launched in Turkish province

The Sur District Municipality in the Turkish southeastern province of Diyarbakır has launched Armenian language courses for both its employees and other enthusiasts, building upon its earlier initiative to provide Kurdish courses.
  • Mar 15, 2012
  • 07:59 PM

National Anthem Strikes A Chord In Iraq

Radio Free Europe
Iraqi lawmakers are expected to vote soon on a controversial proposal for a new national anthem that would alter the Arabic-language anthem to make room for verses in the minority Kurdish and Turkoman languages.
  • Mar 13, 2012
  • 12:10 PM

Kurdish language conference held in Diyarbakir

Mehmed Sabri Akgönül / Kurdish Globe
The conference motto is a reaction against a recent statement by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc who said: "Kurdish is a language without civilization." The three-day conference, which was a platform to discuss problems of the Kurdish language, assembled 300 Kurdish academics, intellectuals, writers and linguists from all parts of Kurdistan, the Caucasus, Europe and Canada.
  • Mar 12, 2012
  • 09:31 PM

Education minister: Kurdish language course could be elective

Today's Zaman
Education Minister Ömer Dinçer said on Sunday that there is nothing wrong with offering elective Kurdish language courses at schools.
  • Feb 22, 2012
  • 12:50 AM

Mother tongue

Mümtazer Türköne / Today's Zaman
The Kurdish issue is the mother of many other problems, and the Kurdish issue itself is a Kurdish language issue. In other words, today, i.e., International Mother Language Day, is particularly important for Turkey.
  • Jan 09, 2012
  • 11:05 PM

Mandatory Turkish puts Kurdish pupils at disadvantage

Constanze Letsch / The Guardian
Kemal, a teacher for over 15 years, says that the school lacks space, educational materials, and another teacher. But the main problem, he thinks, is the language: "By law, we teachers are forced to speak Turkish [in class], but some children don't understand. You put pressure on them; you basically treat them as if they were slow-witted, but the children in front of you simply do not understand because they do not speak Turkish."
  • Dec 26, 2011
  • 03:03 PM

YÖK allows Tunceli University to teach Kurdish-language classes

Today's Zaman
Turkey’s Higher Education Board (YÖK) on Tuesday approved the request of Tunceli University to teach courses in two Kurdish languages, Zazaki and Kurmanji. Speaking to the press on Wednesday, Tünceli University Rector Durmuş Boztuğ stated that YÖK has approved their request to teach Zazaki language and literature, Kurmanji language and literature and Arabic language and literature.
  • Nov 27, 2011
  • 06:33 PM

No students enroll in Kurdish language courses at Tunceli University

Today's Zaman
Not one student enrolled in Zaza and Kurmanci language courses this year at Tunceli University, which has been offering the two languages as elective courses since 2009, according to a Cihan news agency report. The Zaza language is widely spoken in the eastern Anatolian region of Turkey. The Zazas argue that their language is of Persian origin and therefore distinct from Kurdish.
  • Aug 22, 2011
  • 02:02 AM

Kurdish language gains ground in Turkey

Qassim Khidhir--Diyarbakir / The Kurdish Globe
In Turkey, for some young Kurds, speaking Kurdish is a way of being fashionable. Although, speaking the Kurdish language on the streets of Turkey is not banned, and people are free to speak Kurdish, many Kurds speak Turkish in public. There are two reasons for doing this.
  • Jul 23, 2011
  • 03:01 AM

Court OKs defense in Kurdish

Hurriyet Daily News
For the first time in Turkey, a high court has accepted a defendant’s request to make his case in Kurdish. The defendant, identified by his initials, S.B., was brought to court in 2009. The court denied his request to testify in Kurdish, sentencing him to 17.5 years in prison without hearing his defense...
  • Jun 14, 2011
  • 06:46 PM

Language of change

Pat Yale / Today's Zaman
...Recently, I’ve made several return visits to southeastern Turkey, and have been thrilled to discover the final arrival of the same sort of common sense solutions as were belatedly found in Wales. In Van last October I was delighted to discover parks not only named after Kurdish poets but also labeled with details of their lives in Kurdish and Turkish.
  • Jun 11, 2011
  • 09:09 PM

Turkey: Kurds Boycott Mosques For Language Rights

Dorian Jones / The Armenian Mirror-Spectator
...In Diyarbakir, the region’s main city, every Friday since March, Muslim worshipers have boycotted prayers at state-controlled mosques to hear sermons in their native Kurdish, conducted in front of the city wall.
  • Jun 08, 2011
  • 12:36 PM

Turkey's religious affairs authority criticizes recitation of adhan in Kurdish

Today's Zaman
The president of the Religious Affairs Directorate on Tuesday expressed strong criticism of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party’s (BDP) decision to have the call to prayer (adhan) recited in Kurdish, saying reciting the adhan in any language other than its original Arabic is unacceptable.
  • Jun 01, 2011
  • 01:45 AM

Turkish PM dives into language debate

Çağla Pinar Tunçel / Hurriyet Daily News
Hitting out at criticism by the pro-Kurdish party leader, the prime minister on Monday defended his party’s stance on the Kurdish issue, saying Turkish should stay the official language but mother tongues can be used.
  • May 26, 2011
  • 11:44 PM

A Kurdish TV station

İhsan Yılmaz / Today's Zaman
...It performs better than the state-sponsored TRT 5, the symbolic importance of which cannot be denied, showing that the state has jettisoned its policy of denial that a language called Kurdish exists. I think Dünya TV's existence could serve a few beneficial results as far as peaceful co-existence in the country is concerned.
  • May 19, 2011
  • 02:13 PM

Kurdish "Language Day" Celebrated in Armenia (video)

Kristine Aghalaryan / Hetq Online
Kurds around the world celebrate May 15 as Kurdish Language Day. Here in Armenia, the occasion was also marked with events running from May 8-15 in various Kurdish and Yezidi communities. One such community is the village of Alagyaz, one of the 11 such villages in the Aragatzotn Marz of Armenia.
  • Apr 19, 2011
  • 07:24 PM

Kurds alter cultural and linguistic fabric of non-Kurdish areas around Iraq’s Mosul

Samer Saeed /
Hayali claimed in his statement that the Kurds were forcing their language as the medium of instruction in schools in districts and villages where Arabs, Turkmen or Syriac-speaking Iraqi Christians are the majority.
  • Apr 19, 2011
  • 01:19 AM

Turkish PM's 'retreat' on Kurdish issue draws criticism

Hurriyet Daily News
I have never talked about a 'single language' but a single official language,” the prime minister said. CHP parliamentary candidate Sezgin Tanrıkulu criticized Erdoğan's approach, calling it a reflection of the AKP's lack of direction in solving ...