GeriGündem Kurdish faculty plans making smooth progress
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Kurdish faculty plans making smooth progress

Kurdish faculty plans making smooth progress
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MARDİN - Preparations for a Kurdish language and literature faculty in the southeastern province of Mardin’s Artuklu University are making smooth progress, says professor Serdar Bedii Omay, the rector of the university. He says the ambitious project has the backing of Mardin’s business community and philanthropists, as well as that of the government

Preliminary preparations have been completed for the launch of a Kurdish language and literature faculty at Artuklu University in the southeastern province of Mardin. 

The school, one of 23 founded approximately two years ago, is aiming to be "the Middle East’s greatest social-science university." It takes its name from the Artuqid dynasty, which left much historical heritage to the city. A faculty of Syriac language and literature will also be established on campus.

A mosque, a chapel and a Yezidi temple
Prof. Serdar Bedii Omay, the university’s rector, said the campus will be built on about 1,060 acres of land along the Mardin-Diyarbakır highway. Omay said they plan to finish construction in five years and are receiving great support from Mardin’s business community and philanthropists, as well as from the government.

Currently, students in the architecture and engineering faculties are studying at Dicle University in Diyarbakır. The rector said they have hired 50 research assistants for the science and literature faculty, adding that the campus will be in harmony with the history of Mardin and its multilingual and multi-religious background.

The campus will contain a mosque, a Syriac chapel and a small Yezidi temple."Historically, Mardin has been the primary university center of upper Mesopotamia, a city that was home to 13 centers of learning in the 19th century. This tradition of science will live again on our campus," Omay said, adding that the university is a 30-year-old dream come true for Mardin residents.

The rector said they have determined the vision and horizon of Artuklu University as a social-sciences university and are hoping it will grow into an international educational institution, offering courses in languages used in the Middle East. The science and literature faculty will feature Kurdish, Arabic, Persian and Syriac departments.

Omay said they will first emphasize Kurdish and Syriac, languages to which not enough attention has been paid. "Syriac is a language spoken in our region. At the forefront, work is in progress for founding the Kurdish language and literature faculty," he said. "We have completed the preliminary preparations and will apply to the Supreme Board of Education for approval."

The rector added that they will establish the faculty this year after final approval is obtained and that they plan to accept 20 students in 2010. Artuklu University has signed agreements with Dohuk and Kerkük Universities in northern Iraq for Kurdish-language education and with Damascus University in Syria for education in Arabic. In exchange, Artuklu will collaborate with those universities to establish their Turkish language and literature faculties.

According to Asst. Prof. Selim Temo Ergül, who will be part of the Kurdish language and literature faculty, Kurdish has four dialects: Kirmanci, Sorani, Zazaki and Gorani. He added that classical Kurdish literature dates back to the seventh century and features works in various forms that have been adapted to modern literature. Ergül said that the faculty will feature master and doctorate divisions, adding, "By all means, we are ready for education."
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