Dicle University in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır has denied changing the medium of instruction from Kurdish to Turkish at its Kurdish language department. The university said in a statement on Aug. 3 that the medium of instruction had been always Turkish for the Kurdish studies programs.
Students enrolled in the Kurdish language departments of universities in Turkey will no longer be allowed to submit their dissertations in Kurdish. Former academic Selim Temo has also announced that from now on, all lectures at these departments will be conducted only in Turkish.
The ECHR has fined Turkey for detaining a university student who participated at a protest urging the government to recognize the Kurdish language as a "mother tongue" and allow for bilingual public education. The court said that Turkey violated the student's right to liberty and security as well as the freedom of assembly and association.
Müzeyyen Yüce reports: Pro-Kurdish HDP demands a parliamentary inquiry regarding lost Kurdish-language documents that disappeared following the establishment of the Turkish Republic. HDP deputy Murat Sarısaç called on parliament to completely open the archives so that Kurdish manuscripts could be properly sorted through and catalogued.
Ahmet Türk, the sacked mayor of the southeastern province of Mardin from pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), sang a Kurdish folk song on an online broadcast, along with main opposition deputy Orhan Sarıbal. Sarıbal said that as long as folk songs live on, so does heritage, and that will eventually lead to the victory of minorities' struggles.
Opposition deputy Tuma Çelik urged the Turkish government to open schools that teach in Assyrian. The Treaty of Lausanne mandates the government to provide education opportunities in minorities' native languages in areas where their population is dense, he noted.
A center for Kurdish language and culture research, the Kurdish Institute of Istanbul, received some 1,048 applications within 24 hours of announcing that they would be opening up new spots for their online classes in the Kurmancî and Kurmanckî dialects of Kurdish. The institute will open 27 new classes of about 40 students for the online courses that will start April 15.
Ayhan Sefer Üstün from the newly-founded Future Party likened the coronavirus process in Turkey to the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt in terms of the government's authoritarian tendencies. "The society is being tried to enter a new authoritarian environment via making coronavirus an excuse," Üstün, a former deputy of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), told Duvar on April 7.
Turkey's Interior Ministry on March 23 appointed trustee mayors to eight more municipalities run by the HDP in the southeastern provinces. Including this latest move, the government has appointed trustees to a total of 40 municipalities won by the HDP since the 2019 March local elections.
In their "Freedom in the World 2020" report, the US government-funded organization Freedom House said Turkey has been the second country to limit freedoms and human rights the most in the past decade. The country's human rights score on the Freedom House scale was cut in half over the past decade when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has governed uninterruptedly. For 2019, the re-run of the Istanbul mayoral elections and the unwavering pressure on the opposition were deemed the biggest blows to freedoms.
Iconic member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Leila Khaled said at the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) congress that the Palestinian people and the Kurdish people are members of the same struggle. "Our people have embraced your party, our people are elevating the party. We struggle together against Zionism, against imperialism and bigotry," said Khaled Feb. 23.