Attacks of Turkish chauvinists on the third largest language group of the Near East

  • Society for Threatened Peoples
  • 21/10/2008 00:00:00

Society for Threatened Peoples appeal to the Frankfurt book fair 2008

Frankfurt / Göttingen, 17th October 2008

After the attacks of Turkish chauvinists on the third largest language group of the Near East the GfbV appeals to the Book Fair Make Kurdistan, the country with 40 million Kurdish speakers, and its writers the Guest of Honour in 2011!

Turkish nationalist groups are continuing on German soil the merciless suppression and persecution of the Kurdish language, literature, institutions, societies and democratic parties which have been practised since 1919. Following the call of the Turkish TV station Ulusal TV the three Kurdish stands at the Frankfurt Book Fair were attacked, the staff were insulted and threatened. One of the stands was partially destroyed. Unfortunately the police arrived too late.

The General Secretary of the Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV), Tilman Zülch, appealed to the Book Fair after China (2009) and Argentina (2010) to make Kurdistan in the year 2011 the Guest of Honour of the Book Fair. This would mean an honour and recognition for Kurdish literature, which is not only interesting but growing rapidly. The GfbV has published many books and documentaries on the Kurdish question. “We cannot understand that the Kurdish language, which is after Arabic and Turkish the third largest language of the Near East, is to be discriminated”, said Zülch.

Millions of children in Turkey are against the wishes of their parents taught at school only in Turkish. While in Catalonia and in the Basque country, in South Tyrol, in Wales, in North and South Schleswig and many other parts of Europe children are taught in the regional languages, but in Turkey the mere mention of the terms “Kurdistan”, the “Kurds” and “Kurdish” means persecution. This permanent witch-hunt leads to such extremes as the confiscation of the Karl May book “Durchs wilde Kurdistan” (Through wild Kurdistan) or the constant proceedings taken against the Turkish sociologist and writer of many books on the Kurds, Ismali Besikci, who was released in 1999 after nearly 17 years in prison. Hundreds of Kurdish writers have been sentenced in Turkey or have been charged because they wrote about their own stories, their culture or language.

Following the setting up of the autonomous federal state of Kurdistan in North Iraq Kurdish has become the official language for about five million people. The result has been a blossoming out of Kurdish literature. At the same time comprehensive lexica, school-books and scientific publications have been published in Kurdish.

Some GfbV books published by the GfbV on the Kurdish problem: Völkermord an den Kurden, Luchterhand, Hamburg / Zürich 1991, HG T. Zülch Kurdistan und die Kurden, Reihe Pogrom, drei Bände - 1988 ff., HG Ismet Chérif Vanly

Für Menschenrechte. Weltweit

Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker / Society for Threatened Peoples P.O. Box 20 24 - D-37010 Göttingen/Germany Nahostreferat/ Middle East Desk Dr. Kamal Sido –

Tel: +49 (0) 551 49906-18 – Fax: +49 (0) 551 58028 E-Mail: nahost@gfbv.de - www.gfbv.de

  • Society for Threatened Peoples
  • 21/10/2008 00:00:00