ŞIRNAK- While historical buildings are introduced in Turkish and English in Cizîr, Kurdish is not included. Birca Belek Language and Culture Association Co-Chair Fatma Gizçiler drew attention to the multi-faceted assimilation policies in the city and said: "We should not allow assimilation."
The names of villages and cities were systematically detached from their roots and meanings and changed into Turkish from the establishment of the Republic to the present day, within the scope of the policy of "denial and destruction" against the Kurds. Today, these policies are maintained by trustees appointed to municipalities. While the publicity signs and posters of historical and touristic places in the Cizîr (Cizre) district of Şırnak are not used in Kurdish by the trustees, these promotions are made in Turkish and English. Birca Belek Language and Culture Association Fatma Gizçiler, who condemned these policies implemented in Cizîr, where almost the entire population speaks Kurdish, called for a more fight against assimilation.
WORK IN KURDISH, PRESENTATION IN TURKISH
Stating that the trustees are carrying out a multi-faceted assimilation policy in the region, Higizi said: “Before the trustees, there were Kurdish associations and institutions. There was the Mem û Zîn Culture and Art Center working in this area. Kurdish language training was also given in Mem û Zîn. Before the trustees, Kurdish courses were opened in every neighborhood. Young people, women and children received education in their mother tongue there. After 2015, the places providing education were closed and the pressure and prohibitions on the language began. The aim was to make people forget the Kurdish language. We were no strangers to this mentality. That's why, after these pressures, it became clear once again that we need to protect our language more."
Stating that the lack of Kurdish on the signboards where historical and touristic places are promoted is due to intolerance towards Kurdish, Gizem said: "Cizîr is a well-known and known place for its history. It is the identity of Medreseya Sor, Birca Belek and Mem û Zîn Botan. But these historical artifacts are defined in Turkish and English, "There is no place for Kurdish. Nobody speaks English here, and people do not speak Turkish unless they have to. But Kurdish is not allowed."
Stating that they need to protect their history and culture against these policies, Hizçiler said: they can get ahead of the policies in this way. When the state makes a people forget their language, it makes them forget their culture, history and art, then it seizes their land. All of the historical buildings and artifacts here are in Kurdish. They have legendary heroism, but they are defined in Turkish. They do not include Kurdish. This is how they present our history as their own. The epic of Mem û Zîn is in Kurdish and its author is Ehmedê Xanê. But when we go to Mem û Zîn tomb today, the presentation of the tomb is in Turkish and English. We cannot accept this."
'FIGHT AGAINST ASSIMILATION'
Stating that they will expand their work as an association against the policies of the trustees, Gizçiler said: “Since we opened our association, there has been a great interest from the public. We started our Kurdish education. There are cultural and artistic works. We will fight against every policy of assimilation on our language and culture and expand our work everywhere. Only in this way can we prevent these policies."