Published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 April 2021
Often referred to as ‘Zaza’ or ‘Zazaki’ in academic literature in Europe and the US, the Kirmanjki dialect of the Kurdish language is spoken by an important section of the Kurds within Turkey’s borders. Kirmanjki became a written language quite late and due to the longstanding language-related prohibitions and obstacles in Turkey, the number of Kirmanji speakers has been decreasing considerably over the years. According to UNESCO, Kirmanjki is now an endangered language. This chapter focuses on the issue of different designations used to describe Kirmanjki, places where it is spoken and the current language policies in Turkey that affect its development. In addition, the difficulties that Kirmanjki is facing in the contemporary period and its precarious future are discussed.
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