Dear
Mr. Ban Ki-Moon,
Secretary General of the UN

Mr. José Manuel Barosso,
President of the EU Commission

Mr. Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sárközy de Nagy-Bócsa,
President of France and President of the European Council

Ms. Carol Bellamy,
Executive Director of UNICEF

Ms. Nancy Patricia D’Alesandro Pelosi,
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives

25 million Kurds in Turkey lack the right of education in their native tongue. Does this situation not constitute a mockery of humanity?

We assume that you are familiar with the general political conditions under which the Kurds of Turkey are forced to live, and that you are closely following this matter. 
Approximately 25 million Kurds live within Turkish borders. In spite of their large numbers, Kurdish speech is as good as forbidden in Turkey and breaking this prohibition is highly risky. Already, the use of Kurdish is officially and utterly prohibited with in the framework of the public education system. Since the year of 2000 small changes have been brought together as a result of the Kurds’ own political effort and the positive attitude from the European Union. However, these steps by the Turkish government can hardly be named reforms as they have not yet materialized in real life. The current state of affairs: Kurdish speech and publishing and other cultural manifestations are being perceived by the authorities as illegal political activities and thus persecuted and sanctioned by the legal system. Turkish legislation, the constitution in particular, is rich with paragraphs outright prohibiting and largely limiting the use of Kurdish. Unlawful conduct and general mistreatment of citizens by police and military personnel have almost become the routine behaviour of the Turkish State. Article 3 of the current Turkish Constitution states that "The language of the State of Turkey is Turkish", and the following article bans even suggesting to bring change to article 3. Article 42 reads that "No other language besides Turkish can be taught as a mother tongue to Turkish citizens by Turkish education institutions", an article which clearly bans Kurdish in schools. As it seems, the Constitution poses the biggest barrier to the use of Kurdish. 
We want to take a bit of your time to explain the scientifically proven critical importance of a mother tongue in the shaping of a human being’s life. This is not an unknown fact to you, we are sure. Turkey is a candidate country for EU membership, and in a number of international agreements the concept of mother tongue holds an important position. These agreements are the so called Copenhagen Criteria as formulated by the EU, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the UN, the UN Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the OSCE agreement, various UNICEF agreements and the International Agreement to Combat Racist Crimes.
But despite the fact that Turkey has signed all of these international agreements and documents, still the State of Turkey strongly objects to the inclusion of Kurdish into the official education system. Turkey is blatantly ignoring these international agreements, and unfortunately neither the other treaty signing countries nor the relevant institutions and organisations are raising their voices in order to get Turkey’s attention on this issue, and this alone is an obvious paradoxical and unethical situation of which the Kurdish people are rightfully upset. Our people are standing up against the oppressive and assimilationist polices of Turkey in order to claim what is rightfully theirs and we expect your support in this process. More specifically, what we are asking for is that Kurdish alongside with Turkish be recognized as the official language of the Republic of Turkey and as such phrased in the Constitution, and that Kurdish be incorporated in the official educational system of Turkey. We expect of you to utilize your influence on Turkey for these measures to be implemented.

Kindest regards,

Rojan Hazim, author, Chairman of the Language and Education Commission of the Kurdish National Congress
Derwich Ferho, President of the Kurdish Institute in Brussels
Fehmi Balayî, President of the Kurdish Institute in Germany
Huseyin Kheliqi, President of the Kurdish Institute in Stockholm
Dr. Zaradachet Hajo, President of the Kurdish PEN – [KURDISH PEN CENTRE]
Nizamettin Toguç, President of Kon-Kurd and former member of the Turkish Parliament from DEP
The Kurdish Teachers Association
The Kurdish Federation of Alevi Associations
The Federation of Yezidi Associations
The Islamic Community of Kurdistan

Ahmet Kahraman, author
Ali Yigit, former member of the Turkish Parliament from DEP
Amed Tigris, author
Evdila Dirêj, author
Feleknas Uca, member of the European Parliament
Haydar Isik, author
Helin Baba, member of the Parliament of the State of Berlin
Huseyin Kartal, author
Kazim Baba, teacher
Medeni Ferho, author
Mehmet Sahîn, author
Mirhem Yigit, author
Nesimi Yaman, poet
Dr. Remzi Kartal, former member of Turkish Parliament from DEP
Serhat Bucak, attorney, author
Semsettin Ahmet Aktas, author
Sores Resi, author
Prof. Dr. Seyhmus Güzel, author
Zübeyir Aydar, attorney, former member of the Turkish Parliament from DEP

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