Foreign Students to Learn Kurdish and Turkish

studentsA six-month exchange programme supported by the European Union Education and Youth Programs Centre will allow students from foreign countries to come to Hakkari and learn local culture and languages.

This year, Hakkari will host 35 students from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Italy, Romania and Poland. Students from other parts of Turkey are also expected to participate.

Project co-ordinator and University of Hakkari professor Hasan Yildizhan said the goal is to promote the Kurdish language and raise cultural awareness of Kurdish identity.

“Our university’s students will teach Kurdish and Turkish to the students that will come to our city within the project. In return, they teach their own languages to our students. Our main goal here is to promote Kurdish and raise cultural awareness,”

Seyvan Bicer, one of the students that helped create the project, said they presented a similar project previously but it was not accepted due to certain shortcomings.

“Finally the University of Hakkari accepted it. We are very happy. We are happy to be able to teach Kurdish and Turkish to young people from different countries. Our efforts won’t be limited to this project. We will prepare new projects,” Bicer said.

Asiye Seyitogullari, a student of Hakkari University, said the programme is a unique opportunity to promote Kurdish across the globe.

“We will teach our foreign friends our own language and we will learn theirs. I am very excited and I can’t wait for it. Thirty-five students means 35 languages. Every language is a new life and we are open to all of them,”

Nazdar Tekce, another student participating in the project, said many Kurds cannot speak Kurdish because they were encouraged to forget their mother tongue.

“We are pleased to see our university’s initiatives to promote Kurdish. No matter what some people say, I support the efforts to promote, spread, and increase daily use of the Kurdish language,” Tekce said.