The Kurdish language has been under attack from numerous different
regimes over the past century. In the 1970s the Iraqi government
displaced Kurds to the Arab areas in the south of the country, but after
the 1991 uprising and the unsung implementation of the no-fly zone,
Kurds were able to return. They started rebuilding the local
infrastructure, economy and educational system and for the first time in
decades, Iraqi Kurds could study in their mother tongue. The curriculum
was changed from Arabic to Kurdish, but the Swedish model of education
could not be correctly implemented due to the large number of students
in each classroom. With 40% of all the students failing to pass their
class and a diminishing number of teachers, beating is often used as a
form of punishment within the class.
In Turkey, the Kurdish language has been at the forefront of the
Kurdish rights movement. In the 1980s Kurdish books, newspapers, and
even songs were illegal. Recently the Turkish government has eased these
laws, however Kurdish is still not recognized as an official language
which means all laws and all public education must be solely in Turkish.
Today Turkey’s Kurds continue to fight to have legal and educational
rights in their mother tongue.