Saturday, April 01, 2006

Turks demand closure of ROJ TV - Danish prime minister close to being labeled as "terrorist".

The Turkish foreign minister has in a telephone conversation with Danish Foreign minister Per Stig Moeller asked Denmark to close down the Kurdish TV channel Roj TV. Per Stig expressed understanding for the request, but he did not promise anything, according to Ritzau News Agency.
Roj TV has been sending satellite TV for more than three years from a large flat in the centre of Copenhagen. The TV station sends in Kurdish language to some 40 mio. Kurds all over the world.

On November 15 the Turkish premier Erdogan walked out on a press conference with Danish Prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, because a young female reporter from Roj TV was present.

The Turks have on several occasions pressed for a closure of the TV channel that they claim supports terrorism. There is some probability that the Americans support the Turks, and they have probably also been putting pressure on the Danish government in the matter. The Turks have claimed that Anders Fogh Rasmussen is responsible for disturbances in Diyarbakir, the largest city in the Kurd dominated South Eastern Turkey at the end of March. Roj TV broadcast messages from the banned Kurdish organisation PKK.

In 2005 the Danish Radio and TV board concluded that ROJ TV does not transgress Danish law. The ruling was based on a scrutiny of several months of news broadcasts from the Kurdish channel.

Turkey is applying for membership of the European Union. The present case is probably not helpful for the advancement of the application. It is only recently that the Kurds are gaining som minority protection and rights in Turkey. Traditionally the Kurds have not been allowed to speak their language and to claim minority rights. The PKK has been regarded as a terrorist organisation.

The Danish magazine "The Journalist" (nr. 19, 2005), which is published by the Danish union of Journalists, interviewed Havin Gunser from ROJ TV:

"- Do you get money from the PKK?"

"No, we're supported by the Kurdish people", Havin Gunser says.
"There are an infinite number of examples of people being labeled as terrorists just for having mentioned that there is a Kurdish problem. That was close to happening to your prime minister", she says to the Journalist.


Blogger Sophia said...

Turkey was always the darling of the united states. And this long friendship will be tested with the kurdish problem. All depends on the interests of both countries in matters of strategic cooperation in the middle east. Double standards in US foreign policy are routine. European countries are more and more aligning on US foreign policy and its double standards.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

For some reason the Danish government has been resilient to the US in the matter of ROJ TV. Maybe there is backing from other EU countries who want to see Turkey reform before serious membership negotiations are undertaken.

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PKK is a terrorist organisation that has killed more ethnic Kurds than ethnic Turks, that finances its operations by exthorting money from Kurdish businesses, that employs criminals, smugglers and drug dealers, and Roj tv is its TV station.

denmark is ruled by a bunch of idiots. its actions are only hurting itself.
how do they every time again make themselves hated in the world without even invading another country.

Rojtv will in all likelyhood be marginalised as Kurdish language Tv stations become more an more commercially viable..
Once media moghul Aydin Dogan steps in, he'll monopolise this market as well. That guy has the Midas touch..

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Hejar said...

This an answer to the third comment

Your claims are totally unfounded, they are just the propaganda of Turkish army.
You start from your brutal way of thinking , there is no acceptance for "others" in it.
You yourself are a crazy idiot to call the people of Denmark as such.
They are resoecting Freedom of Expression.
I do not know about the ability of Aydin Dopgan for marginalizing other stations , but I know for certain ROJ TV is the most popular TV in a great section of Middle East and contrary to all accusations it is not affiliated to PKK.

3:20 AM  

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