The most significant practice that was conducted by UNESCO in the year 2000 is to declare “February 21st as the universal mother tongue day.” In the atlas that was published in 2009 by UNESCO, it is demonstrated that there are 6700 mother tongues all over the world and half of them is facing extinction. The greatest factor for this extinction is the totalitarian regimes. The above-mentioned regimes secure existence of their sovereignty by eliminating different opinions and ethnics. While the developed countries consider languages as cultural capitals, the totalitarian regimes endeavor to demonstrate themselves powerful by rendering monotonous and erasing the ethnics.
In the previous decades, Islamic Republic has proved the fact that there exist no difference between them and the previous regimes and has based their cultural policy on underestimating the nations and destroying their languages. However, the intellectuals of the nations have protected their languages and cultures by means of pen power till today and by this way they have tried to endure against the insidious plans of Persian chauvinism.
February 21st is a good chance to discuss the issue of education in mother tongue at the international level. In the current period the world is much more sensitive about the human rights violations in Iran. In such an environment, protecting the rights of Iranian minorities and the issue of nations’ getting education in their own languages should be considered as priorities. For this aim, the elites of Iranian nations living abroad, including the Turkmen intellectuals, should pay a great effort and make the decision-making countries of the United Nations heard their voices.
The cadres of Turkmensahra Liberation Organization, in such a difficult political environment in the country, could not carry out activities explicitly but at least endeavor to encourage the Turkmensahra youth to read, write and to publish their creations in their own languages; and stimulate the cultural efforts of Turkmensahra people with sensitivity and without creating any tension.
Once again, as it happened three decades ago, the day in which we could shout together as “We need to be literate, we need schools in Turkmen language!” is not so far.