Kurdish PEN co-chair Sami Tan said that people have not been able to speak Kurdish freely due to the assimilation policies of Turkey. Noting that Kurdish still lacks any status and is not the language of education, Sami Tan said, “The dirty policies against the Kurdish language have been continuing since the Ottoman Era.” He added that there should be an “organised struggle” to protect Kurdish.
Mesopotamia Language and Culture Research Association (MED-DER) co-chair Rıfat Roni, who was imprisoned on 26 April for his research, also sent a message via a phone call from prison. “Our language is a heritage that will be left to our children. We have to protect this heritage and give it to our children,” he said.