Turkish PM Erdoğan: “We don’t have a plan for providing education in Kurdish!”


Amid the discussions on to what extent the “package” that the government is to announce to resolve the Kurdish issue will make way for democratization, PM Erdoğan said that they do not have a plan for regulating education in the Kurdish language which is one of the main demands of the Kurds in Turkey.

Threatening the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) concerning the Kurdish National Congress, Erdoğan objected to making an analogy between the Kurdish movement and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). “Their land has been seized and they are a people that struggle. Do Kurds have such a problem,” Erdoğan asked.

“We are taking the steps in accordance with the reports submitted to us by the Commission of Wise Men,” Erdoğan said and added that the demand of providing education in the Kurdish language which is one of titles of the report of the Wise Men will not be included in their package.

“Official language of the country will be damaged.”

One of the press representatives asked Erdoğan whether the package clears the way for education in the Kurdish language. Erdoğan replied:

No. It will not be implemented in the private schools either. It is not an issue that we are dealing with now. We – as the AKP – will not take a step which will divide our country. We have already provided the opportunity for learning the native language (Kurdish) at schools. But if you pave the way for education in the native language, you will harm the official language.

They will not give up on their proposal for presidency and the demand for abolishing the election threshold can be met though the system of presidency, Erdoğan added.

Erdoğan maintained that the promises on withdrawing the guerillas have not been kept. 20 % of the guerillas have been withdrawn and most of them are “children and elderly,” he said.

“Security Forces will do the necessary.”

They have not even laid down their arms. This demonstrates their situation. The security forces of our country will do what they have to do against those who will organize attacks and they will not say ‘welcome,’ of course. They will do the necessary.

Erdoğan also said that he is disturbed by the presence of the KCK officials in the media.

The media merely covers the organization (the KCK) as if it was an institution of our country. The statements of the officials of the KCK are making the headlines. Those things are not benefiting my country; they are harming it.

“The land of the Palestinians has been seized. Do Kurds have such a problem?”

Erdoğan also commented on the Kurdish National Congress.

Objecting to the analogy made between the Kurds and the PLO, Erdoğan said, “Their [Palestinians’] land has been seized and they are a struggling people. Do Kurds have such a problem? Palestinians do not even have passports. They can have passports only if Israel grants them. Do my Kurdish citizens in Turkey have such a problem?”

Erdoğan threatened the KRG.

Erdoğan expressed a threat against the Kurdistan Regional Government which he referred to as “Northern Iraq” regarding the Kurdish national Congress as well.

The Congress is outside Turkey so it does not concern me so much but it will be a problem especially for Northern Iraq because possible decisions that will be at variance with their previous statements and promises might affect our relations. It is important in this respect. We told them the facts very openly. We told that we will definitely reconsider our relations with those who will take steps that might lead up to the division of our country.

Kurdish activists and writers responded to Erdoğan quickly on social media.

One of them was Kurdish activist Serhat Mérdînî: “So you tell us that ‘education in native language will divide the country.’ Can you hear what you’re saying? So, what is your solution? What should we do? Do you want us to be deprived of our basic rights and freedoms as long as the world revolves? You said ‘A Moses will appear in Egypt and destroy the Pharaoh.’ But it is you who look like the Pharaoh, more than Moses.”