Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Rasmussen celebrates a record third term

14/11 14:32 CET
Rasmussen celebrates a record third term
Denmark's liberal/rightwing coalition is preparing for another five years in government, after edging over the winning line in the tightest vote in years. Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen saw his early-election gamble succeed, to the delight of his supporters. "This is an historic victory," he said. Because for the first time the Liberal Party has won three elections on the trot, and is also the biggest party for a third successive parliament."It means little change in parliament with the governing coalition presenting much the same line-up. Rasmussen's Liberals won 46 seats, down six from last time, while his Conservative partners won 18, and the far-Right Danish People's Party 25. Rasmussen needed another allied party in the Faeroe Islands to win a seat, to secure his victory.Rasmussen's main opponent, Helle Thorning-Schmidt's Social Democrats are the second-biggest party, her group falling six seats short of a majority. She said she was proud of the campaign, but admitted it was not quite good enough. The party leaders made their traditional post-election round table appearence to discuss the results. The pro-immigration New Alliance Party of Syrian-born Naser Khader has also indicated it will support the Prime Minister
Source: Euronews

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bia Media Monitoring Desk:Quarterly Report Published

Bia Media Monitoring Desk: Quarterly Report Published
The Bia Media Monitoring Desk publishes regular quarterly and annual reports on the state of press freedom and the freedom of expression in Turkey. The period of July, August and September 2007 has again witnessed many trials for journalists.
Bıa news centre
Erol Önderoglu
In the last three months, 125 persons, most of them journalists, and six media agencies have been tried for activities which could be interpreted as being within the framework of the freedom of expression.
Although Articles 301 and 216 of the new Turkish Penal Code continue to worry people, national and international campaigns calling for justice are emerging, too.
19-page report published on website
A 19-page quarterly report for the months of July, August and September 2007 has been published by the Bia Media Monitoring Desk (see bianet's Turkish website). The full report will also be translated into English and published on this website. The report contains information on 158 people and 82 court cases in domestic courts as well as the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Report organised under seven headings
The monitoring desk reports the violations of press freedom under the headings "attacks and threats", "detentions and arrests", "trials and initiatives", "corrections and redress", "European Court of Human Rights", "reactions to censorship" and "implementations of RTÜK [the Radio and Television Supreme Council]" .
Articles 301 and 216
Article 301, which has cause more than a hundred people to find themselves in court since 1 June 2005, has been the reason for 15 trials of 22 people, mostly journalists, in the last three months. Writer Emin Karaca, student Durmus Sahin, singer Ferhat Tunc, publishers Ragip Zarakolu and Mehmet Ali Vural, journalists Arat Dink and Serkis Seropyan, human rights activists Eren Keskin, Ferhat Bayindir, Hakan Tastan and Turan Topal still have to defend themselves against charges brought under Article 301. Furthermore, the last three months have seen 12 people sentenced under Article 216 of the Penal Code (the former Article 312), referring to "incitement to hatred and hostility". Do not write about "Turkish citizens" or "Kurdistan"The Supreme Court of Appeals overturned the acquittal of Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Kaboglu and Prof. Dr. Baskin Oran, who had suggested the concept of "Turkish citizenship" [Türkiyelilik] instead of "Turkishness" in their Minority Rights Report. According to the new decree, a redefinition of minority would endanger the "unitary state and the indivisibility of the nation". Yasin Yetisgen, owner and editor of the local Coban Atesi (Shepherd's Fire) newspaper in Gaziantep, has not only been in prison for writing that "Antep is an industrial city in the North of Kurdistan"; he is also on trial under Article 216.
Caricaturist sentenced
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has often targeted caricaturists by taking them to trial; finally, a mayor in Kocaeli managed to get caricaturist Muhammet Sengöz, of the "Özgür Kocaeli" (Free Kocaeli) newspaper sentenced for a caricature entitled "What is next mayor?". The sentence of 11 months and 20 days imprisonment was converted into a fine of 7,000 YTL.
Long detentionsThe above mentioned Yasin Yetisgen and Erzurum student Durmus Sahin were both detained "as a precautionary measure". News editor Sait Bayram and reporter Firat Avci, of the Diyarbakir "Söz TV" were detained for one month after accusing a judge of corruption. 22 journalists and 6 media agencies have been sentenced to 10,246,000 YTL fines and 23 years, 10 months and 20 days imprisonment for "defamation" and "insults". In Europe there are no prison sentences in such situations. Muzaffer Erdogdu, Taner Akcam, Ilhan Selcuk, Erdal Dogan, Hincal Uluc, Cüneyt Arcayürek, Yücel Sayman, Yakup Önal, Güngör Uras, Metin Münir and Sinan Kara are all facing compensation claims or the threat of imprisonment with this kind of charge. A retired judge is demanding 100,000 YTL compensation from editor Nurgül Balcioglu of the Gaziantep Sabah newspaper. Balcioglu had criticised the judge's claim that "In nine out of ten murders, a woman is involved". Former Naval Commander and retired General Özden Örnek is demanding that editor Alper Görmüs of the Nokta magazine be imprisoned for 6 years and 8 months for publishing a news item concerned with claims of a military coup.
Attacks and threats
In the last three months, five journalists have been attacked and four journalists have received threats. During the second quarter, which included the 1 May police violence, 17 journalists had been attacked and 6 had been threatened.The report also writes about journalist Ali Bayramoglu, who first reported about the You Tube clip which combined nationalist singer Ismail Türüt's song "Plan, Don't Make a Plan" with a video clip glorifying the murder suspects of journalist Hrant Dink. It also writes about journalist Türker Alkan, who has been receiving death threats. ECHR: More sentences, but lower sumsIn the relevant period, the ECHR sentenced Turkey to a total of 14,500 Europs compensation in 32 cases of violations of the freedom of expression. Because most appeals to the ECHR had not specified any amounts, this sum is much lower than the 78,250 Euros of the second quarter.
Law on Terrorism
The report also writes about how the Law on Terrorism has been applied. After 23 people were arrested in "Operation Gaye", targeting the Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP), Füsun Erdogan, broadcasting coordinator of "Özgür Radio" (Free Radio), Ibrahim Cicek and Sedat Senoglu, the editor-in-chief and publication coordinator for the "Atılım" newspaper respectively, will finally appear in court on 26 October, 14 months after their arrest.Reporter Sebati Karakurt and editors Hasan Kilic and Necdet Tatlican of the Hürriyet newspaper have been sentenced to 455 YTL, 40,000 YTL and 20,000 YTL respectively for a feature report on a PKK camp on Kandil Mountain. Should the fines not be paid by 13 November, imprisonment is still possible.In addition, the trial of 56 mayors from Kurdish cities continues. They had written to the Danish Prime Minister asking him not to close Roj TV, the satellite TV channel which is illegal in Turkey, but watched by many Kurds.There are good news, too...The Army Mutual Aid Foundation (OYAK) has withdrawn its demand of 10 million YTL compensation from Güngör Uras and Metin Münir.A penal court in Mus, eastern Anatolia, has given Mahsun, Fatih and Ferit Yilmaz suspended sentences of two years imprisonment each for threatening Emrullah Özbey, owner of the "Haber 49" (News 49) newspaper. The Yilmaz relatives had threatened Özbey because he had criticised their relative Medeni Yilmaz, an MP for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). (EÖ/AG)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Iran Disrupts the Signals of Kurdish Satellite Channels

Kurdish Daily paper Awene

Friday 5 October 2007

Iran disrupts the signals of Kurdish Satellite Channels

In Iran not only Kurdish education is banned, but even the Kurdish Satellite channels are exposed to disruption by The Islamic Republic of Iran.
The fact that there are no dire Kurdish words visible on the billboard of boutiques or the name of streets is probably the strangest thing for a Kurd from Southern Kurdistan crossing the border into Eastern Kurdistan. In Iran not only the education of Kurdish language is forbidden, but also the Kurdishn satellite channels are disrupted by Islamic Republic of Iran and they could not be viewed.

Abdullah Moini who is a satellite provider and fixer in Sardasht told Awene:" It is more than a month that Iranian authorities have set up a large dish on the roof of Sardasht garrison. The aim is to cause the disruption of Kurdish Satellite channesl signals so people are not able to watch them".

Although in accordance to a decision by Iranian government the possession of satellite dishes are forbidden, but there are barely anyone who is without one. People discreetly set up little dishes in the backyard of their homes and try to fix it to get signals coming from Europe.
Abdullah added" in the beginning people were not aware of this parasite in Sardasht and its environs. They were delivering back the dishes that they had bought. They thought they may be out of function, I have re-adjusted my own dish three times".
This disruption signals has blacked out the Kurdish and Persian speaking satellites which sent their programs from Europe. The Iranian government has sat up large dishes over high positions in various cities to disrupt all signals sent via Hotbird. This has led to huge disruptions so many satellite channels are not viewable.

Arezu, a young woman in her early 20s from Mahabad told Awene from the beginning of spring Mahabad is exposed to disruptive parasites. It is obvious that there is a political agenda behind all this. The Islamic Republic of Iran is worried about the developments in the region. They are afraid of consolidation of national awareness among the people. They want to hide their bombardment of the border regions and its effects on Kurds. They want the people of Eastern Kurdistan not to show any interest for politics and political events".

All these measures are taken at a time where many youths of this part of Kurdistan are illiterate in Kurdish. Most of them are very keen to learn reading and writing in Kurdish. Some people are trying by using books, newspapers and magazines and even watching satellites to learn about their language. Most of the literate Kurdish youths are fed up with obligatory education in Persian and prefer to leave the school .Most of them are deeply indignant of discrimination among Persians and Kurds. Therefore they think of finding a job instead of going to school. They see that just 10% of Kurds to go to higher free schools.

Shiwa Qereni who is an eighteen years old student, still can not read and write in Kurdish. She pointed out:"By reading Kurdish and watching some programs on Kurdish televisions I tried to learn reading Kurdish, but the Islamic Republic of Iran is denying that to me and many others by disrupting satellite signals".

The report prepared by: Necibe Muhamad, Sardasht

Translated from Middle-Kurdish into English

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

La police turque tire sur des distributeurs de journaux...

mardi 9 octobre 2007

La police turque tire sur des distributeurs de journaux...
La Turquie vient encore de dévoiler timidement son visage de pays pluraliste et de prouver une fois de plus sa progression constante vers la démocratie comme chacun sait... enfin, il paraît...Plus concrètement, ce dimanche à İstanbul dans le quartier de Yenibosna, la police turque a ouvert le feu sur des adolescents de HÖC qui distribuaient des revues du magazine Yürüyüş. Parmi eux, le jeune Ferhat (16 ans) qui se trouve en ce moment entre la vie et la mort après avoir reçu une balle dans le dos. Les membres de HÖC vendaient ces revues comme ils le font assez souvent ; parmi eux une quinzaine de personnes ont été placées en garde à vue. (Halkı haine pour les médias critiquesHÖC (Haklar ve Özgürlükler Cephesi - Front des Droits et des Libertés) est une plate-forme de gauche (non-nationaliste) en Turquie qui rassemble plusieurs associations progressistes, des organes de presse et un groupe de musique. L'Association des Droits Fondamentaux, le journal en ligne Halkı, la revue Yürüyüş, l'agence de presse Özgürlük, l'association de solidarité des familles des prisonniers politiques TAYAD et le groupe de musique GrupYorum en sont tous membres et subissent régulièrement les intimidations de la police turque quand ce n'est pas pire.Yürüyüş (La Marche) est quant à elle une revue distribuée légalement en Turquie mais dont le siège se trouve aux Pays-Bas, hors frontières pour éviter de tomber sous le coup de la censure comme cela était arrivé à d'autres médias progressistes il y a tout juste un an et dont les sièges étaient situés, eux, en Turquie (voir à ce sujet la campagne "We want freedom" en faveur des prisonniers du 10 septembre).Distribuer, diffuser en Turquie à partir d'une maison d'édition ou d'une antenne installées à l'étranger, sont devenus des secondes natures pour bon nombre de médias anatoliens qui dérangent l'appareil d'État. C'est aussi le cas du quotidien Yeni Özgür Politika (pro-kurde) installé en Allemagne et de la chaîne Roj TV (également pro-kurde) dont l'administration est en Belgique mais qui émet depuis le Danemark. Ce pays subit d'ailleurs les pressions constantes de la Turquie notamment via la diplomatie états-unienne pour faire fermer la chaîne kurde... Fort heureusement, le Danemark n'a jamais cédé jusqu'à maintenant. Info-Türk (de gauche) est aussi abonné à cette mode du média en exil. Les exemples ne manquent bien sûr pas.Outre les médias de gauche plus épars, certaines revues à grand tirage et à la critique acerbe ne sont pas épargnées non plus par la censure. Ainsi, le magazine Nokta (Le point) a du cesser toute activité après que son directeur, Alper Görmüş, a été traîné devant les tribunaux pour "diffamation" suite à des révélations retentissantes sur les généraux turcs. Pendant près de 6 mois, on pouvait lire sur leur page d'accueil "Avec l'espoir de vivre dans une Turquie plus démocratique". Le procès intenté contre le directeur de Nokta est toujours en cours.Alors que beaucoup de journaux turcs à grand tirage sont en général abrutissants, que ces derniers consacrent surtout leur attention à mettre une bonne quantité de photos de dames dévêtues plutôt qu'à l'actualité elle-même - un coup d'oeil sur les pages d'accueil de Milliyet ou de Hürriyet à n'importe quelle heure du jour ou de la nuit suffit à s'en convaincre... - et qu'ils sont largement acquis aux thèses nationalistes en vigueur, la presse critique, elle, fait face quotidiennement à la censure, à l'emprisonnement des journalistes, et aux intimidations qui sont autant de réalités banalisées en Turquie.1/2KL

Source: blog du clea

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Conference on Kurds in Diyarbakir

Conference on Kurds in Diyarbakir
"Kurds in Turkey: Main Requirements for a Peace Process" was the title of the conference, which was held on 29 and 30 September in Diyarbakir.
Bıa news centre
Last weekend, a conference on the Kurdish question in Diyarbakir was co-organised by the Diyarbakir Bar Association and the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Entitled "Kurds in Turkey: Main Requirements for a Peace Process", the aim was to have an "in-depth discussion".
Some of the speakers at the conference were Sezgin Tanrikulu (president of Diyarbakir Bar Association), Ulrike Dufner (Heinrich Böll Foundation), Prof. Dr. Mithat Sancar (Ankara University), Aysel Tugluk (DTP MP for Diyarbakir), Orhan Miroglu (DTP) Yurdusev Özsekmenler (mayor of Baglar), Dr. Dilek Kurban (TESEV), Prof. Dr. Baskin Oran, Nebahat Akkoc (Ka-Mer), and Dr. Michael Gunter (Tennessee University).
Tanrikulu: "Solution outside of conflict"
In his opening speech, Sezgin Tanrikulu emphasised the importance of having a conference on solving the Kurdish question in the actual region. He described the conference as a "thinking platform which would show that there was a solution outside of conflict."
According to Tanrikulu, there are legal, social and political issues which feed the conflict. He pointed out that Kurds still had problems expressing, organising and representing themselves. There were also still problems with language rights.
Dufner: "The right time"
Ulrike Dufner of the Heinrich Böll Foundation started her speech in Kurdish, which was applauded by the more than 300 strong audience. She said that the presence of DTP MPs in parliament, the discussion of the definition of citizenship in the work on a new constitution, as well as a general relaxation of taboo topics, showed that this was the right time to talk about a solution to the Kurdish question. She said that women in particular were necessary in any peace process.
Giving examples from Germany, Dufner said that the second and third generation Turks demanded education in their mother tongue. She also referred to election quotas according to ethnic origin, which, although potentially problematic, could also guarantee representation.
Sancar: Different definition of citizenship
Prof. Dr. Mithat Sancar spoke during the session entitled "The Process of Ending Conflict". Referring to the current work on a new constitution, Sancar called for a constitution that would "at least not contain any clause which would hinder a solution."
He said that this would mean a definition of citizenship which was not associated with ethnicity [as the term "Turk" is at present]. It would also mean that there would have to be clauses which acknowledged and protected plurality: "The constitution must be open towards the future and the Kurdish question."
Tugluk: Accept all cultures democratically
Aysel Tugluk, MP for the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) in Diyarbakir, spoke at the session entitled "The Process of Passing from Authoritarian and Militarist Structures to a Participant Democracy". She also referred to the debate on the constitution, calling for the constitution to accept all cultures democratically and allow their expression. She further warned, "A constitution which is not supported by the Kurds will not be a text of compromise."
Apparently imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan had called for such an expression of acceptance of different cultures to be included in the constitution around two weeks ago. Speaking with his lawyers, he had said: "This sentence would even be enough. It would open the way for many things. Let them put this sentence in the constitution, and the PKK would put down their arms within two months."
Orhan Miroglu, also of the DTP, called for people to listen to Öcalan's message.
Özsökmenoglu: Table of peace
Yurdusev Özsökmenler, mayor of the Baglar district in Diyarbakir city, spoke during the session entitled "Looking at Peace through the Window of Gender". She saw the work on a new constitution as an opportunity for women to "disclaim violence" and "sit down at a table of peace."
Criticism of discourse on "Founders of Republic"
Dr. Dilek Kurban of the Turkish Foundation for Economic and Social Studies (TESEV) criticised Kurdish attempts at legitimisation by claiming that, together with the Turks, they were the founders of the Republic. According to Kurban, this approach encouraged the authoritarian state attitude towards non-Muslims.
In a later session, Prof. Dr. Baskin Oran also criticised the discourse of "founding elements", saying that this led to a kind of "Kurdish Kemalism". Nebahat Akkoc of the Diyarbakir Women's Centre Foundation (Ka-Mer) also acknowledged that this discourse rejected minorities and led to power struggles.
Gunter: Recognition will strenghten state
Dr. Michael Gunter of Tennessee University likened the rejection of a Kurdish identity to the experiences of blacks in the USA. He pointed out that the state had been strenghtened by legal acknowledgement and protection of a black identity and that this could serve as a model for Turkey. (TK/NZ/AG)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Turkije willen dat Denen ROJ TV uit de lucht halen

Turkije willen dat Denen Roj TV uit de lucht halen
woensdag 3 oktober 2007 - 11:36
Turkije heeft de Denemarken weer opgeroepen om het Koerdische satellietkanaal ROJ TV te sluiten. Ankara beschuldigt Roj TV van het uitzenden separatistische propaganda.
De Turkse minister van buitenlandse zaken, Ali Babacan, maakte dit duidelijk in zijn recente ontmoeting met zijn Deense college Per Stig Moller in New York. Babacan verklaarde dat Turkije bewijs heeft overgedragen dat Roj TV separatistisch is. "We hebben al lang geleden dit bewijsmateriaal geleverd en we willen nu dat jullie actie ondernemen," zei Babacan.
Mollet zei dat het onderzoek nog moet worden uitgevoerd en vroeg Turkije om geduldiger te zijn. De verklaring van Babacan komt na waarschuwingen van de Turkse generaal Ilker Basbug dat er een stijging is van Koerdisch nationalisme is in Turkije.
Het internationale Koerdische TV-station Roj TV is in 2004 opgezet en heeft programma’s in verscheidene Koerdische dialecten en in het Turks, Perzisch, Engels, Assyrisch en Arabisch. De studio's zijn gelegen in het Oost-Vlaamse (Belgische) Denderleeuw in de gebouwen waar het VTM-programma 'Tien om te Zien' in 1989 het levenslicht zag.
ROJ TV kan je (FTA) bekijken via de Hotbird (13° Oost) op 12.476 GHz. (H) met Sym:27.500 en FEC: 3/4.
Bron: Satellite TV

Sunday, September 30, 2007

European Union Must Organise a Campaign,demanding shutting down most TV stations in Turkey!

European Union must organise a campaign, demanding shutting down Most TV stations in Turkey!
Alan Dersimi
Independent Kurdish Journalist

Every now and then Turkish media report that Turkish authorities raise their concern over ROJ TV to Danish Authorities. They accuse ROJ TV, which is the true voice of Kurdish people with all sort of heinous fabricated misdeeds.
Since the advent of television, some regulator bodies has been appointed to oversee the TV broadcasting code of conduct based on universal values stipulated in charter of Human rights and other related international conventions.
If one of these regulator bodies observe the Turkish satellite broadcastings, they will without slightest doubt hear statements and commentaries which are full of hatred and abuse against a culture and a people who constitute at least a quarter of Turkey's population. No one raise concern in this regard neither in Turkey nor in European countries. These are pure violation of internationally accepted values by Turkey. Possibly the odd interpretation of human rights is seen appropriate for the way the Turkish state is governed. Turkey sees this as self-evident to continue with their trampling upon universal principles.
While Turkey is adamant in their conduct, shamelessly want to export their repressive measures to Europe and give lessons to Denmark about its press freedom regarding closure of ROJ TV.
It is a legitimate democratic view to ask European Union to explain why they are so defensive and tolerant vis-à-vis Turkish pressure and unacceptable demands. It should not be that hard to translate the Media broadcasting regulation into plain Turkish and introduced to Turkish government. The Turkish government need to understand that TV broadcasting is regulated by law, and any offence or misconduct is watched over by concerned authorities in Denmark.
It is time to let Turkey know that demanding of ROJ TV's closure is not acceptable. The only authority which can judge the content of ROJ TV's programming is the Danish Radio and Television Board. Turkey can not continue its repressive and dictatorial manner to dictate how other country should run their internal affairs. A Europe media regulator shall set up an independent body to oversee TV broadcasting in Turkey to measure the respect for human rights and true meaning of Freedom of expression.