Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The European test for Turkish democracy

The Globe, Tuesday November 29, 2005 – No 34

Shemdinli; the European test for Turkish democracy

Globe Chronicle

While Turkish parliament assembled last Wednesday to talk about the Shemdinli incident with the Turkish government promising to shed light on the incident and punish the culprits, the EU stressed that a proper investigation would test the supermacy of law

in Turkey.Speaking to a Turkish TV channel, NTV, Hansjoerg Kretschmer, the representitive of the European Commission in Turkey said 'this is a test for Turkey-

a test to prove the supermacy of law and that the laws are applied to anyone regardless of who they are.'

In response to Turkey's insistence from The Danish authorities to revoke ROJ TV's broadcasting license , a kurdish dominated political party, Democratic Social Party (DTP), appealed Friday to the Danish government to resist Ankara's demand to ban the channel. In a letter to Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen , DTP stated that

' the demand to have ROJ TV banned is a move to prevent the kurdish people's right to

receive news in their own language.It is not possible to reconcile this initiative with freedom of press and expression'. Turkey maintains that ROJ TV has ties with the PKK, an armed group considered a terrorist organization by Turkey. Eu and US. In support for

Turkey's bid to ban the channel, washington has asked Denmark to shut down the channel. According to Danish daily newspaper, Berlingske Tidende, the US in a confidential request to the ministry of foreign afairs said that ' ew strongly urge the Danish government to shut down and freeze the assets of ROJ TV , Mesopotamia TV and MBMG ' Denmark's broadcasting watchdog however, refused the allegation that the channel had any links to the PKK. Turkish authorities do not allow any broadcasting in Kurdish for the sizeable Kurdish community in Turkey except for official Turkish channel TRT has broadcast in Kurdish only half an hour per week….