Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 1711

Full Length Research Paper

A look at mother tongue education in the context of the right to education

Idris Şahin
  • Idris Şahin
  • Buca Faculty of Education, Dokuz Eylul University, Division of Educational Administration, Izmir, Turkey.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 30 January 2018
  •  Accepted: 14 April 2018
  •  Published: 10 May 2018


In Turkey, education in state schools can be delivered in foreign languages such as German, French and English. However, mother tongue education cannot be provided in the languages of minorities or local groups other than those officially accepted as minorities (that is, according to the Treaty of Lausanne). In this regard, the primary aim of this study was to reveal the views of postgraduate students (Masters (MA)/PhD) studying at a graduate school of educational sciences on mother tongue education and the applicability of mother tongue education in Turkey. The study was conducted with a total of 46 students, 28 MA and 18 PhD students. The data were gathered through semi-structured open-ended questions in November 2017. According to the findings, most of the participants viewed mother tongue education as one of the basic human rights. Moreover, while some of the participants thought that the country was not yet ready to provide education to non-official minorities or local communities in their mother tongues, some objected to mother tongue education with the concern that it would cause division within the country.

Key words: Education, minorities, mother tongue, right to education, human rights.