Saturday, December 13, 2014

Reviving Ottoman Empire Language?

The Washington Post published an article that proclaimed Turkey's current president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, desires to revive the language of the Ottoman Empire in Turkey. In 1928, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founding father of the Turkish Republic, initiated radical reforms that banned the "Ottoman" Turkish language. He viewed the language as elite, and desired Turkey become more secular and nationalist. Earlier this week, the National Education Council, fouled by those who support Erdogan's will, voted to make Ottoman Turkish required in high schools. With backlash from the Justice and Development party, the prime minister updated the law, making Ottoman Turkish an elective. He adamantly declared "Whether they like it or not, the Ottoman language will be learnt and taught in this country". Clearly, he leaves no room for negotiations. Many compared it to teaching Latin in schools, also considered a dead language; however, there are benefits to learning languages used avidly long ago. Others view Erdogan's ideas as a radical attempt at the Islamization of Turkey, which, thanks to Ataturk, is secular. Erdogan has pride in the Islamic past of Turkey, and desires others appreciate the history as much as he does. He hopes it bridges the gap between the old history and current times, and allows people to appreciate their rich history. Here's the article if you want to read more.

Washington Post Article

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