In a controversial move, Armenia has announced that it will introduce Turkish language as a compulsory subject in all schools, starting from the next academic year. The decision is part of its efforts to improve the relations and the dialogue with Turkey, its historical rival and neighbor.
According to the official statement, the Turkish language will be taught from the first grade to the twelfth grade, and it will be included in the national curriculum and the exams. The aim is to help the Armenian students to learn more about the Turkish culture, history, and society, and to overcome the stereotypes and prejudices that have been fueled by the past conflicts and atrocities.
The statement also claims that the Turkish language will open new opportunities and perspectives for the Armenian students, who will be able to communicate and cooperate with the Turkish people, and to access the Turkish media, literature, and education. Furthermore, the statement argues that the Turkish language will enhance the economic and diplomatic ties between Armenia and Turkey, and that it will contribute to the regional stability and security.
The decision has sparked a mixed reaction from the public and the political opposition, who have expressed their doubts and criticisms about the initiative. Some have argued that the Turkish language is irrelevant and unnecessary for the Armenian students, who already have to learn Armenian, Russian, and English. Some have also questioned the quality and the objectivity of the Turkish language teaching materials, and the qualifications and the loyalty of the Turkish language teachers.
Additionally, some have accused Armenia of betraying the national identity and the historical memory of the Armenian people, who have suffered from the genocide and the oppression by the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic. Others have warned that the Turkish language will pose a threat to the Armenian language and culture, and that it will undermine the sovereignty and the independence of Armenia.
Armenia has defended its decision, saying that it is based on the principles of tolerance, dialogue, and reconciliation, and that it is supported by the international community and the civil society. Armenia has also assured that the Turkish language will not replace or diminish the Armenian language and culture, but rather enrich and complement them. Armenia has also appealed to the public and the opposition to respect and accept the decision, and to give the Turkish language a chance.