AMED - Between 2012 and 2022, 45 Kurdish language teachers changed their specialism. The main reasons for this change are the main problems in Kurdish language teaching and concerns about the future.

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DEVA Party MP in Mersin, Mehmet Emin Ekmen, has asked in a parliamentary question to the Ministry of National Education (MEB) how many teachers have changed their speciality in Turkey in the last 10 years.

In the answer to the parliamentary question, the Ministry of National Education shared remarkable data on Kurdish language teachers.

45 Kurdish language teachers have changed their speciality

According to the Ministry, “in the 10-year period from 2012 to 2022, 36 teachers in the field of Living Languages and Dialects (Kurdish - Kurmanji) and 9 teachers in the field of (Kurdish - Zazaki) have changed their specialisation and have been deployed in other fields”

Between 2012 and 2024, a total of 199 teachers of Kurdish languages were appointed in Turkey, 153 of them for Kurmanji and 46 for Zazaki. However, 45 of these appointed teachers left Kurdish language teaching and moved to other fields.

Hez Kurd: More opportunities in other areas

Suphi Özgen, chairman of the Kurdish Language Movement Association (HezKurd), spoke to the Amed Times about the reasons for the change of Kurdish language teachers. According to Özgen, the main problem is the teachers' concern about their future. Özgen emphasised the insufficient number of appointments of Kurdish teachers and expressed his sadness that even the appointed teachers change their field of expertise.

According to HezKurd Chairman Özgen, the reasons for the change of teachers include the lack of recognition of the right to Kurdish language education in Turkey, more opportunities for Turkish teachers and concern for the future.

Teacher Hüdai Morsünbül: They want to secure their future!

Regarding the 45 Kurdish language teachers who are switching to other subjects, Turkish teacher Hüdai Morsünbül explained that the teachers are switching from Kurdish to other subjects due to the existing problems.

Morsünbül, a teacher with 24 years of experience, said, “If the weekly Kurdish elective classes at a school are less than 15 hours, there is no need for a Kurdish teacher at that school. In such cases, teachers are either transferred to another location or they change their speciality. The reduction in Kurdish lessons is the main reason why Kurdish teachers change their specialism. In addition, teachers change their subject area to secure their future because they do not know whether the classes will be re-elected next year. Currently, the situation of Kurdish classes is at the discretion of the school administrations.”

To solve these problems, Morsünbül suggested that Kurdish lessons should be compulsory in middle schools and an optional subject in high schools, explaining: “As long as Kurdish is not an official language, the language cannot flourish.”

In Turkey, Kurdish was included in the curriculum of the Ministry of National Education (MEB) as an elective subject under the category of living languages and dialects as part of the foreign language quota with a regulation published in September 2012.