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Beyond Mother Language: Kurdish as a Regional and Indigenous Language

Journal: The Journal of Mesopotamian Studies (JMS) (Vol.6, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 245-265

Keywords : Kurdish; Mother Language; Regional Language; Indigenious Language; Kurdish Political Movement; Turkey;

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The association between language and territory is particularly significant in terms of indigenousness. Therefore, the argument of this paper is to examine this aspect of the Kurdish language through the interpretation of the Kurdish political movement in Turkey based on self-identification, an essential component of indigeneity. Since the 1990s, the Kurdish political movement has been demanding mother-tongue rights with the growing grassroots support. This study examines pro-Kurdish political party programs, statements/press releases, and interviews with deputies of the HDP, current parliamentary party. The article explores acquiring Kurdish as a native language by Kurds and non-Kurds in the region, mainly through mothers, homes, and the community environment. The process of acquiring the Kurdish language varies according to how individuals interact with the local Kurdish community, such as marrying into Kurdish families, systematic settlement, and growing up in the region. Whilst Kurdish is regarded as the mother language of the Kurds by Kurds and non-Kurds members of the Kurdish political movement in Turkey, this article draws further attention to the regional and local aspects of Kurdish, including its natural learning process of non-Kurds within the region.

Last modified: 2022-01-14 18:42:54