The new legislative term is heating up with proposals from the Democratic Society Party, or DTP, on education in Kurdish. The DTP’s leaders say they will support and organize demonstrations to guarantee education in their mother tongue in the Constitution. The party will also try to galvanize grassroots support by organizing a symbolic trial
ANKARA – Turkish Daily News (Friday, September 12, 2008)
The Democratic Society Party, or DTP, will push for education in Kurdish in the new legislative term, the deputy leader of the party's parliamentary group announced yesterday.
We will give symbolic Kurdish lessons on the street. When Parliament resumes, we will host students who wish to be educated in Kurdish in our parliamentary group meetings. We also discuss whether deputies can speak Kurdish in the General Assembly or not, said the party's DTP deputy leader, Kamuran Yüksek, speaking to the Turkish Daily News.
TZP Kurdi, a Kurdish nongovernmental organization, called for a boycott against the educational system.
There are demonstrations for the right to education in maternal language. We will support this campaign within the framework of a democratic action plan, parliamentary group deputy leader Selahattin Demirtaş said in his statement.
We will seek constitutional guarantees for this collective right, added Yüksek.
We already announced support for a boycott campaign of TZP Kurdi, Yüksek maintained, and pointed out that some Kurdish parents had refused to send their children to school to demonstrate their opposition.
I cannot say the exact place, but in Diyarbakır, Batman, Kurtalan and Nusaybin symbolic Kurdish education will be given in the middle of streets as part of demonstrations, Yüksek said.
Main opposition Republican People's Party, or CHP, deputy Atilla Kart said his party's position remained clear. My personal opinion is that everyone should enjoy his or her individual rights, but collectivization of such rights is unacceptable; it disrupts the unitary character of the state, he noted. People should be able to learn their maternal language. But this must not be increased to a constitutional right to education in maternal language.
DTP to raise street voice on closure case
The DTP will also organize a symbolic people's trial on Tuesday, the day when the party will give its verbal defense in the ongoing closure case against it before the Constitutional Court.
Yüksel earlier said the symbolic trial would be held in Dağkapı square in Diyarbakır. Sheikh Said, a Kurdish religious leader who led a religious rebellion in 1925, was hanged in the Dağkapı square the same year.
Turkey needs dialogue. Contrary actions will lead to provocations, the CHP's Kart cautioned.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Diyarbakır deputy Mehdi Eker uses Kurdish in election campaigns, meetings and demonstrations. If he uses that right, it should be put into law as well, Yüksel noted.
The DTP will first discuss the drive for education in Kurdish within party ranks, Demirtaş stressed.