By Sorwar Alam, Meryem Goktas and Sadik Kedir Abdu
ANKARA (AA) - The Bangladesh’s embassy in Ankara on Wednesday organized an event to mark the International Mother Language Day and to commemorate the martyrs of Bengali Language movement in 1952.
Organized by the Embassy of Bangladesh, diplomatic missions of eight countries staged cultural and linguistic performance at the event.
Bangladesh Ambassador to Turkey M. Allama Siddiki said: "Language is a beautiful creation of human genius. We all love our mother languages. We all feel proud of our mother languages."
During his speech, Siddiki commemorated the people who were killed during a protest for the right of Bengali language to be one of the state languages of Pakistan in 1952.
The Bengali Language Movement led to the movement of independence in 1971, Siddiki added.
The day is being celebrated in almost all UN member states under the theme "Linguistic diversity and multilingualism count for sustainable development".
In 1999, UNESCO recognized Feb. 21 as International Mother Language Day to honor the Bengali demonstrations in the then East Pakistan [current Bangladesh] against the use of Urdu as the sole national language in 1952.
The Bengali Language Movement started in 1952 and after a long struggle the central government of the then Pakistan accepted Bengali as one of the state languages of the country in 1956.
Around 240 million people across the world speak Bengali as their mother language, marking it the 5th largest language in the world, according to Ethnologue, a reference publication on living language.