Saturday, April 15, 2006

Bureaucracy Sucks The Energy of Kurdish Radio

Sanliurfa's Medya FM has to make two employees work 10 hours every day for the daily one-hour program called "Center of Life" in the Kirmanchi dialect of Kurdish. They prepare and present the program, and prepare copies and transcripts for RTUK and police

BIA News Center

11/04/2006 Erol ONDEROGLU

BİA (Sanliurfa) - "Medya FM" (Media FM) in Sanliurfa, which began broadcasting programs in the Kirmanchi dialect of Kurdish on March 23 with the permission of the Radio and Television Higher Board (RTUK), is continuing Kurdish broadcasts under difficult conditions.

The radio broadcasts Kurdish programs for a total of five hours per week. The "Yasamin Merkezi" (The Center of Life) aired at 6:00 p.m. every day, consists of 15 minutes of news, 15 minutes of music and half-an-hour of traditional culture.

Arisut: We would have liked to air quality programs

Mustafa Arisut, the general coordinator of the radio, said they two employees work 10 hours a day to prepare the program, present it and to fulfill bureaucratic requirements.

To be able to broadcast in line with the Regulation on Radio and Television Programs in Different Languages and Dialects Turkish Citizens Use in Daily Life, the two employees prepare the program until 6:00 p.m., present the program, and begin translating the program into Turkish at 7:00 p.m.

Two people work 10 hours a day

The two radio employees, after finishing their translations, prepare copies and transcripts of the program to be sent to RTUK and the Broadcast Monitoring Unit of the Police Security Station. The weekly package is delivered to the authorities every Monday.

Coordinator Arisut complained of not being able to prepare quality programs because of the the efforts spent to fulfill the bureaucratic requirements.

Since last month, the radio has been broadcasting informative programs on Sanliurfa and a section of the Risale-i Nur Kulliyat by Saidi Nursi in Kurdish. The radio is planning to broadcast programs on the villages in the surroundings and the healing plants of the region.

Medya FM, which applied for permission to broadcast programs in the Kirmanchi and Zaza dialects and Arabic, could only get permission to broadcast in Kirmanchi.

Conditions in the Regulation

"Gun TV" (Day TV) in Diyarbakir, which signed a letter of commitment with RTUK, together with Medya FM, broadcasts a culture and arts program called "Dergusa Cande" (Besik of Culture) on Mondays and Thursdays. "Soz TV" (Word TV) in Diyarbakir had also begun Kirmanchi broadcasts at the same time.

According to the regulation on broadcasts in the mother tongue, radios can broadcast programs in different languages and dialects only for a total of five hours a week. They are required to air the Turkish version of the program. Televisions can only broadcast programs in different languages and dialects for a total of four hours and are required to provide Turkish subtitles.

Certain conditions of the regulation, such as, the requirement to conduct a "study on the languages that are used in the region of the broadcast," the fact that children's programs and programs aimed at teaching the language are banned, and the fact that programs are limited to news, music and
traditional culture, had drawn criticism. (EO/KO/EA/YE)