Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Roj TV instructs Kurdish people about bird flu

Friday, January 13, 2006

"Do you know what we can do against bird flu?" three students from a vocational medical school asked an AFP photographer on the mud-covered streets of the town, where donkeys compete for space with motorised vehicles.

"People are trying to learn what is going on from television, but most do not know Turkish fluently, they speak only Kurdish," said a high school student who only identified himself as Erhan.

But thank "god" there is Roj TV! Since Tuesday there is an instruction about the Avian Flue (Shewba Chukan) in the form of an announcement. And on Sunday 15th January the health program of Roj TV is entirely devoted to bird flu, which gives a good alternative to Turkish television.

Education is the key to controlling the spread of the virus! That is hampered here by poverty and the inability of many in the Kurdish town -- especially women -- to speak Turkish. But why should they learn to speak Turkish? Kurds have been living in this area's for decades. It can only be solved by more Kurdish education, Kurdish television and more rights for Kurds.

The Kurdish program on Sunday (15th January) is live and it's on air at 14.30 hours Central European time. Kurdish people couldn't understand the official advices in Turkish on Turkish TV concerning bird flu and how to protect oneself against flu and avoid birds' contact. Due to the fact there is no representative Kurdish television in Turkey, Kurdish people weren't informed properly. But Roj TV shows the world again that Kurds need to have their own media and shows Turkey that Kurdish is more efficient.

I hope it reached most Kurds, because not everyone can afford a satellite dish in the poverty stricken Kurdish region. I hope one day 24 hours independent Kurdish television will be shown on Turkish cable. There are now 30 minutes of Kurdish television on Turkish private channels and 45 minutes of Kurdish television on the Turkish state television. I hope the Turkish government learns from Roj TV and starts with longer, more informative and better broadcasts.