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Implications of the Basque Bilingual Education System: Informing the Establishment of a Kurdish Bilingual Education System in Turkey
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The Kurdish people have historically occupied the eastern and southeastern regions of Turkey. Since 1923 the Kurdish question is still the most serious internal issue in the Turkish republic's eighty-eight year history. Undoubtedly, one of the main obstacles for the Kurds in Turkey is language. Therefore, the goal of the study is to demonstrate how the Basque bilingual education system in the Basque Country of Spain works, and how it may be used as comparative analysis of a possible bilingual system for the Kurdish population in Turkey. People of the Basque region in Spain constitute the largest ethnic minority within the country. Basque bilingual education models used where minority languages are prominent will be considered, taking into account their historical and political contexts. Another purpose of this discussion is to discuss the benefits of Basque Country's bilingual education models in Turkey and what they can offer in regard to issues related to the lives of Turkish Kurds. The overall design of this study uses a qualitative method consisting of data collection through a survey used to get a rich data set that explains the issues surrounding bilingual education in the Basque region. This survey involved 26 participants from K-12 teachers and scholars in the Basque Country. From the survey, the participants' answers were gathered and reviewed. Emergent themes in the survey were coded. Results indicate that currently, the Basque Country in Spain has a reputable ongoing bilingual education system. Over the last decade, the Basque region has established a model for bilingual education that offers multiple options for the linguistic study of the Basque language. Thus, as the Basque Region has an advanced and institutionalized bilingual education system, it is logical to study how minority language issues were addressed previously so it may inform the Kurdish situation.