DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, Nov 4 (AFP) - 18h09 - Kurdish intellectuals held a conference in their own language for the first time in decades in Turkey on Tuesday, following EU-inspired reforms that have broadened the cultural freedoms of the country's sizeable Kurdish minority.
"We could not even dream of staging such an activity in Diyarbakir 10 years ago," Feridun Celik, the Kurdish mayor of the city, the center of Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast, said in Turkish in the opening session of the gathering.
ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) - Aydin Unesi's language school is ready to start teaching Kurdish: He has remodeled six classrooms in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast, course books have been ordered, and 200 students have already signed up.
But nearly seven months after applying to open the school, Turkish authorities haven't given Unesi the go-ahead for Kurdish courses, legalized last year as part of Turkey's bid to join the European Union.
ANKARA, Nov 18 (AFP) - 17h32 - Turkey's broadcasting watchdog RTUK on Tuesday gave the green light for radio and television stations to air programmes in the Kurdish language, a key reform required by the European Union which Ankara is seeking to join.
RTUK president Fatih Karaca was quoted by the Anatolia news agency as saying that his agency had drawn up a regulation -- likely to come into force this week -- outlining rules governing broadcasts in languages other than Turkish.
A Kurdish language course was opened in Istanbul following Urfa, Batman, Adana, Van and Diyarbakir. The goal is to give high-quality education in the Private Kurdish Language Education Center in which 180 people were enrolled.
Sir, Damjan De Krenjevic-Miskovic and Nikolas Gvosdev of the Nixon Center have taken it upon themselves to instruct Kurds in Iraq that Arabic rather than English should be their second language ("Kurds should not let language deepen divisions", November 16). Their arguments are specious, especially the suggestion that for Kurds not to learn Arabic is "to embrace their resentments".
Today's Zaman 22 June 2008, Sunday
It was 1985, when playwright and Nobel laureate Harold Pinter, along with the late Arthur Miller, visited Turkey on behalf of International PEN to investigate the situation of writers in Turkey, a visit that inspired him to write his play "Mountain Language" three years later