Turkey’s whistled ‘bird language’ introduced as university course

Giresun, Turkey
Giresun, Turkey Image: Dr. Zeynel Cebeci (Wikimedia) CC BY-SA 3.0

Giresun University, located in northern Turkey, offers its students the first ever elective course on ‘bird language’, a whistled form of communication peculiar to Kuşköy (literally Bird Village) in the Black Sea region.

This whistled language has been used for centuries by locals in Kuşköy and was included in UNESCO’s famed list of Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2017. However, the language faces the threat of extinction as technology has been rapidly changing the way of communication.

Aside from teaching this endangered language in its classic use, the university also focuses their studies on whether it can be used as a key communication method in search and rescue work in the aftermath of disasters.

“We are worried that this whistled language will soon only be a ‘show language’ rather than [a basic communication tool] and will be a dead language. We need to preserve this cultural heritage and convey it to future generations,” as said by professor Musa Genç, the dean of Giresun University’s Faculty of Tourism.

Read the full article at Daily Sabah.

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