DİHA - Dicle News Agency


Education in mother tongue for Kobanê children in Erciş

20 February
13:39 2015


- KURDİ-DER provides education and psychological support for children from Kobanê who came to Erciş following the attacks of the ISIS gangs.

KURDİ-DER has opened two classes providing educational and psychological support for children of 11 families who took refuge in Erciş following attacks by ISIS gangs on Kobanê. The children say that they feel themselves as foreigners and under repression there, and have some relief thanks to the support of KURDİ-DER. The co-chair of KURDİ-DER, Şakir Asıl, said they have about 20 students between 5 and 12 years old, and that they receive psychological support to overcome the traumatic effects of the war as well as education in the mother tongue.

'You can see fear and restlessness on their faces'

Asıl said they have provided 15 hours a week of lessons to children in Erciş for about a month, and added that the children are still far from overcoming the traumatic effects of the war. “You can see the fear and restlessness on their faces. When we tell them something they have problems concentrating as they always have Kobanê in the background. They talk about returning to Kobanê and how beautiful a city it is”, said Asıl. He added that the teachers in the institution play games with the children and meticulously answer all their questions to help them regain their self-confidence.

One of the educators in KURDİ-DER, Zeynep Taşdelen, stressed the traumatic impact of the war on the children, adding that it is impossible for these children to overcome these effects only with the support they receive in KURDİ-DER. Tasdelen said society must provide support collectively to these children to ensure they do not feel lonely. She added that feeling lonely here always reminds the children of Kobanê and the war, as it was the war which brought them to these foreign lands.

'Kobanê is my country'

One of the children receiving education in KURDİ-DER, Hewler Osman (7), said they felt under police and soldiers’ repression after they had come to Turkey, adding that he is homesick and wants to return to Kobanê. He said “Kobanê is my country, everyone speaks Kurdish there. The YPG fighters never shout at us, they even play games with us. I do not feel comfortable here because my daddy told me that ISIS came to Turkey from the border”. Osman further said: “The police and the soldiers do not like us here. They all talk in a language that we do not understand. Kobanê is beautiful, Kobanê is my country. I want to return to Kobanê”.

Another child, Xebat Eyüp, said they left all their relatives in Kobanê. “Maybe most of them died in the war. But at least their graves are there. Kobanê is the place where I was born, it is my country. I want to return to Kobanê. The mud in Kobanê is better than the honey here”.

Another child, Mehmet Osman (12), said he is uncomfortable with the donations and aid the people sent them: “The ISIS gangs devastated all our houses. They have taken away everything we had. I am thankful to all those who supported and sent aid to us. But I am not comfortable with this. I want to return to Kobanê, to rebuild our house. I will work on the land and we will build a house”.