Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Turkish authorities have sent a formal complaint to Denmark in the ongoing dispute over ROJ-TV-TV's transmission

The Turkish government has once again complained to Danish authorities about Kurdish television station ROJ-TV. The station has been accused by both Turkey and the US as being complicit in supporting and inciting terrorism.

The Danish Radio and Television Board received the latest complaint directly from the Turkish authorities in Ankara. The transmission of ROJ-TV in Denmark has been the focus of heated discussions between the Turkish, Danish and US governments over the past year.

In November 2005, police conducted a thorough investigation into ROJ-TV, but the station has been allowed to continue its broadcasts. That investigation is still ongoing.

ROJ-TV has continually denied all accusations by the Turkish government and claims the station has a right to its viewpoints.

'ROJ-TV is a Kurdish TV-station with Kurdish angles on the news, and it doesn't care for the Turkish government,' said station manager Tahsili Zonoozi.

Turkey has consistently argued that ROJ-TV is nothing more than a propaganda outlet for the armed Kurdish organisation PKK, which stands on the US' terror list.

The Turkish government believes the broadcasts show a transgression of Danish laws against spreading hate relating to sex, race, religion or nationality. The complaint also asserts that ROJ-TV has broken a Danish law aimed at protecting minors from programmes which harm their 'physical, mental or moral development, including programmes containing pornography or unmotivated violence'.

Accompanying the complaint were outtakes from several ROJ-TV broadcasts transferred to DVD by the Turkish authorities.

Discussions on the subject have been at the highest levels. PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen has repeatedly criticized the Turkish government for their handling of the situation. He lashed out at the Turkish government for bringing charges against 56 Kurdish mayors, who had sent a letter to him requesting that ROJ-TV be allowed to continue operating in Denmark.

In November 2005, Turkey 's prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, walked out of a press conference with Danish Rasmussen, because he allowed ROJ-TV to cover it.

Friday, August 25, 2006

More shameless remarks by Larko


My voice in the Web - about anything and everything, sometimes even nothing
Jail for writing a letter

The Danish Daily Berlingske Tidende writes that 56 Kurdish mayors in Turkey are risking jail sentences up to ten years for writing a letter to the Prime Minister of Denmark. The mayors wrote to P.M. Anders Fogh Rasmussen to express their support for renewal of the license for the Danish based Kurdish TV station Roj TV.

The station transmits a variety of cultural, news and current affairs programmes in Kurdish dialects and in Arabic and Turkish. The transmissions can be received by satellite in large parts of Europe and Middle East. They can also be streamed through the Roj TV web site.

The Turkish authorities are accusing the 56 mayors for actively supporting PKK Kurdistan Workers' Party which is listed as a terrorist organisation by the EU.

Prime Minister Fogh Rasmussen said in a press conference in Brussels on Thursday that he finds it shocking that this sort of charges are being presented in a country that is seeking to become a member of the EU.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Company Refuses to Distribute Kurdish Daily

A company in Malatya has refused to distribute Kurdish-language "Azadiya Welat" newspaper after publication turns daily following 12 years of weekly print. They are distributing through 12 bureaus across the country.

BIA News Center
16/08/2006 Erol ONDEROGLU
BİA ( Malatya) - The Kurdish language "Azadiya Welat" newspaper which after 12 years of printing in weekly editions has just become a daily is suffering from distribution problems.

Newspaper executives who prepared the journal for a daily format had to distribute the first issues through their nation-wide 12 offices when the company that used to distribute it in weekly format refused to do so on a daily basis.

Saying that talks were continuing to overcome the problem, the newspaper's Editor-in-Chief Tayyip Temel told bianet that if no conclusion was reached, they would seek an alternative distribution company.

Newspaper bureaus have managed to distribute 25 thousand copies of the daily issue of the newspaper prepared for August 15 Thursday, he explained, noting that all copies in the east and southeast cities of Diyarbakir, Batman, Kiziltepe, Van, Adana, Mersin, Hakkari and Agri had sold out wile sales in the western province of Istanbul were high.

Temel, referring to the circulation and sales problems of opposition newspapers, agreed that the daily issue of Azadiye Welat would have problems even when distribution issues were resolved.

"When we take into account the Kurdish literacy rate, it is evident that we will have problems in the first stage. But our readers have been demanding a daily newspaper for a long time" he said.

"Kurds should be able to read news in their own language"

Noting that approximately 15 million Kurds lived in Turkey, Temel said the Kurdish language faced a great problem in the country due to the policies enforced but that this should not be interpreted as this language not being necessary.

"Even though we have been printing weekly for about 12 years, our readership potential never fell under 7 thousand" he explained. "We thought that a weekly newspaper could not effectively meet the news requirement. Our target is for the Kurds to read news reports in their mother tongue".

Temel ecalled that of the court cases launched against the weekly version of the newspaper on grounds of conducting "visual and written propaganda" in favour of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), 20 were still continuing but claimed they would be "the voice of all Kurds in the world".

"Local Kurdish publications restricted"

Temel, who believes practical restrictions against local Kurdish publications continue in the country says that even the allowing of Kurdish language broadcasts only for a limited time of 40 minutes is "an insult".

He argued that the Kurds had the right to protest these broadcasts by not listening to them and that it was important for the democratic quarters in Turkey to support a Kurdish newspaper.

Stressing that the daily version of the newspaper would be full of new initiatives, Temel said that for the first time Kurdish language sports and health news would be covered, marking a first in daily publishing.

Who will write?

To be published daily as an eight page newspaper, Azadiya Welat's editor is Hamdullah Yilmaz who was sentenced to three years imprisonment for "terror organization propaganda". Among its columnists is Istanbul Kurdish Institute Chairman Sami Tan, politician and writer Osman Ozcelik.

Temel said that author Mehmet Uzun had also promised he "will definitely write" for the newspaper (EO/KO/II/YE)

Azadiya Welat !

The Kurdish weekly Azadiya Wilat which has been in print since

1995 in Kurdish language in spite of all kind of harassment, From today 15 august, is published as a daily newspaper.

This is the first Kurdish daily newspaper In Northern Kurdistan and Turkey 's history. The first issue of Azadiya Welat is published under the motto " Roj ji Welat bilind dibe" [Sun rises from the homeland] , the paper is 8 pages and its main office is situated in Diyarbakir.

ROJ TV News Room

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Court Re-Opens Kurdish Daily After Closure

Pro-Kurdish Ozgur Gundem daily reopenes with the same court decision who last week ruled the newspaper's closure under the new anti-terror law. Daily to appear on stands tomorrow but Turkey's media remains under threat unless restrictive articles removed.

BIA News Center
09/08/2006 Erol ONDEROGLU

BİA (Istanbul) - The Istanbul 12th High Criminal Court that on August 4 ruled for a 15-day closure of the pro-Kurdish "Ulkede Ozgur Gundem" newspaper on grounds that it was involved in continuous propaganda for an armed terror organization, has re-opened the daily after 5 days of suspension following an appeal made by its lawyers.

The Court evaluated the appeal made by Gundem's lawyers Ozcan Kilic and Inan Akmese, concluding that the recent 15-day print ban imposed on the newspaper on request of the Public Prosecutor's Office, as the first implementation of controversial articles of Turkey's new Anti-Terror Law (TMY), was in fact a violation of article 28 of the Constitution.

Recalling that President Ahmet Necdet Sezer had applied to the Constitutional Court for the articles cited as reason for the newspaper's closure to be annulled, the court's decision to allow for Gundem to continue to print was relayed to the newspaper Tuesday night.

Ulkede Ozur Gundem's News Editor Nurettin Firat regarded the decision with cautious optimism, noting that the five day episode once again showed the initial decision taken against the newspaper was unwarranted and there was an arbitrary justice system in Turkey.

Firat announced that the newspaper would re-appear at the news stands as of August 10, Thursday. He told bianet, however, that they would still take legal action due to the five days they were suspended from print.

Continuing threat

Despite the reversal of court orders in Gundem's case, unless articles 5 and 6 of the TMY are annulled as requested by President Sezer in his application to the Constitutional Court last week, these restrictive articles of the law will continue to threaten media freedoms in Turkey.

These articles of the TMY, one of which was used to close down Ulkede Ozgur Gundem in the recent court order, seriously limit the media's coverage of terrorism and terror related human rights issues including alleged or reported violations of rights.

The article that led to Gundem's closure covers "publications openly encouraging the commission of crimes in the scope of the activities of a terror organization, praising committed crimes and criminals or containing terror organization propaganda" and allows for Public Prosecutors to issue orders in instances where delays need to be avoided, to suspend the said publication from 15 days up to a month.

It states that the prosecutor will inform a court of the temporary and preventative closure decision within 24 hours and if the decision is not ratified by the court in 48 hours, the suspension will be void.

The other article Sezer has taken to court to be annulled foresee the fining of owners and editors of publications for offences in the publication involving "disclosure of the identities of public officials involved in the counter terrorism struggle" and "publishing the communiqués and statements of terror organizations" whether or not they have taken part in the offence. (EO/II/YE)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Authorities still holding two women reporters with Kurdish news agency

Turkey 2 August 2006

Reporters Without Borders called today for the provisional release of Evrim Dengiz and Nesrin Yazar while they await trial. The two women journalists, who work for the Kurdish news agency DIHA, have been held in pretrial detention since 15 February although they did not commit any crime of violence, the press freedom organisation said.

Their lawyer, Bedri Kuran, has appealed against the decision to keep them in detention before a court in Adana, where the next hearing is to be held on 25 August. They are to be tried by a court of assizes in the eastern city of Malatya on charges of "threat against the unity of the state and territorial integrity," for which they face a possible sentence of life imprisonment.