“We had a language which was very suitable for science; yet we slept over it one night and the next morning it was gone. Now we have been dragged down to the level of a country which learns and teaches science in foreign languages. Thousands of words and languages are forgotten. The structure of the language, which used to be suitable for deriving new words and expressions, was curbed.”
These sentences belong to Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan. He was delivering a speech on Dec. 24 in the award ceremony of Turkey’s Scientific and Technological Research Board (TÜBİTAK).
It was not the first time Erdoğan has mentioned this subject, though not as clearly as this time. It is important, since the remark was made in the wake of the debate to make the Ottoman language a compulsory course in the Turkish curriculum by the National Education Ministry.