Kurdish Studies

ISSN: 2051-4883 | e-ISSN: 2051-4891

Struggling against language shift: Kurdish language education in Turkey

Anu Leinonen
Finnish Institute in the Middle East
Keywords: Language policy, language-in-education, Kurdish, civil society, reversing language shift.

Abstract

This article, largely based on interviews with language activists, investigates Kurdish language-in-education policy in Turkey since the early 2000s. It attempts to answer the following questions: How has Kurdish language education developed in Turkey from 2004 to 2020? What has been the impact of the educational activities on reversing the language shift from Kurdish to Turkish? I argue that the most important contribution has been on the elite or academic level with a widening of the Kurdish-reading and writing elite. Yet, the language shift from Kurdish to Turkish continues.

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Keywords

Kurdish StudiesKurdsmigrationTurkeyKurdishKurdistangenderSyriaimmigrationIraqIraqi KurdistanrefugeesmediadiasporaMigrationfamilyAlevismRojavaYezidisautonomyUnited StatesKurdish studiestransnational migrationIranstereotypesminoritiesAlevisactivismEuropesovereigntyareal linguisticsPKKIndiaBalkans