Saturday, November 26, 2005

Kurdish politicians ask Denmark not to close down Roj TV

Saturday, November 26, 2005

ANKARA - Turkish Daily News

Leaders of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) appealed to Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to resist Turkish requests to close down Roj TV, a satellite television broadcasting from the Copenhagen, which Ankara says is a mouthpiece for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The letters, signed by the party's two joint leaders, Aysel Tuğluk and Ahmet Türk, the party said Turkish requests for Roj TV's closure had "created concerns among the Kurdish people." "Any request for the closure of an organization working toward the development of (Kurdish) language and culture is unacceptable," the letter said, arguing that it was a "contradiction" for Turkey to seek a ban on Roj TV at a time when it must improve its rights record to gain entry into the EU.

Turkey, on the other hand, continued to press Danish authorities to close down the television station. Police spokesman İsmail Çalışkan said at a weekly press briefing that a PKK member, Abdullah Hicap, was also an executive at Roj TV and showed footage of Hicap making a statement on behalf of the PKK on Roj TV during the weekly conference. Çalışkan called on countries fighting terrorism to fulfill their responsibilities under international law. "According to international law, terrorist organizations' broadcasts on television stations amount to a crime," he said. "In the past, certain pro-PKK broadcasting institutions in Britain, Germany and France have been closed down. The countries concerned should fulfill their responsibilities concerning Roj TV within the framework of international law."