Saturday, October 28, 2006

ROJ must continue to rise !

As a defender of free speech and the right of expression, I condemn any kind of pressure and curtailment against ROJ TV. ROJ TV has been a decisive factor in reviving the Kurdish culture and heritage. As Kurdish culture have been denied a free and unmolested development, stopping a vehicle of its expression would be a big disaster for the KURDS.

Hemin Seyidi
Lecturer , architect
October 2006

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Blackout for ROJ TV

After some other Eastern cities, technical blockings have started for Roj TV in Diyarbakır too.

Roj Tv had been facing technical problems in cities such as Hakkari, Mardin and Van for a while. The same problems began occurring in
Diyarbakır. It was learned that some organizations are sabotaging the channel by sending signals with technological devices.

Technical block for ROJ TV channel

It was claimed that after Van, Hakkari and Mardin, ROJ TV's broadcast has begun being blocked by unknown forces in

Diyarbakır. According to the news published by Firatnews website, ROJ TV's broadcasts are being blocked with technical signals in Diyarbakır as well as the Kurdish radio channel MMC.

Source : Sabah , October 20, 2006

Monday, October 23, 2006

Environmentalist defends appearance on ROJ TV

The New Anatolian / Ankara
19 October 2006

A vocal environmental activist yesterday tried to shield himself from public criticism over his appearance on a TV channel that praises Kurdish cause.

Oktay Konyar, who is known for efforts to encourage villagers to unite against environmental degradation and act against business giants responsible for pollution, said in his defense that as an activist, he also has the right to express his ideas about the Kurdish problem, as well as peace and stability in the country.

Konyar was criticized for participating in a program on Danish-based Roj TV .He was also said to have joined a meeting of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) and was accused of spreading separatist ideas among the villagers.

The activist, in a press statement read in front of the Human Rights Association's (IHD) Izmir branch, described himself as a democrat and advocate of human rights.

Konyar claimed that business circles have launched a smear campaign against him, while confirming his attendance at a DTP meeting along with several academics and intellectuals.

"They want me to be a modest environmentalist and stay silent in the face of other problems the country is facing," said Konyar, adding that those who are against him tried to agitate villagers and turn them against him by spreading the news that he attended DTP meetings and went on Roj-TV.

He also said that he once stood trial on charges of treason and was acquitted, adding that no one can dissuade him.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Roj TV Shine

10/15/2006 - By Kameel Ahmady

Recent political events along with turkeys negotiation and arms dealing with US in relation to the ''War on Terror'' brought ROJ TV (SUN-TV) once again under pressure from turkey. While Turkey did not move forward on its promises to EU in relation with improving human rights and freedom of press it's also rejected the offered unilateral ceasefire.

Now the Turkish Government has start it blocking viewers in some parts of Turkey's Kurdistan from watching the Kurdish television station, ROJ TV and it continues to block signals in more areas main land turkey. Such move represents another grave potential threat to freedom speech and to expression of ethnic minority and identity in Turkey and the world of free media.

Turkey has long campaigned to close down ROJ TV within EU and has applied pressure on Denmark, by whom the TV is licensed up to a point that brought shame upon the Turkish Government when Danish PM Rasmussen lectured Turkish PM Erdogan on press freedom after he failed to attend a press conference in Copenhagen because ROJ TV's journalist was due to attuned, saying that "Turkey has to realise that there are some very specific conditions that need to be fulfilled if Turkey wants to become an EU member one day, and one of them is respecting freedom of press and freedom of expression."

There is been further embarrassment for turkey this week when Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's best-known novelist, who faced trial this year for insulting his country, won the 2006 Nobel prize for literature from a Swedish Academy, and add on to the pain and Turkey's fury, the French lower house of parliament approved a bill making it a crime to deny the Armenian genocide. Pamuk was tried for insulting "Turkishness" after telling a Swiss paper last year that one million Armenians had died in Turkey during World War One and 30 000 Kurds had perished in recent decades.

Such development can be seen as a test case for freedom of speech in Turkey, but in another front turkey continues to ignore the basic rights of the Kurdish people and their rights of access to free media and try to justify all actions as ''war on Terror'' While turkey's state terrorism in Kurdistan continues.

ROJ TV for Kurds in Kurdistan and exile is not viewed as only news source, for them the TV represent home and one free big family. The same time as a forum for the expression of ideas about Kurdish identity as well as a means to voice political debates and discussion, its represents platforms for Kurdish movement, something that turkey dose not allow the Kurds to practice in turkey. Such restrictions on ROJ TV will make many thousand homeless in Kurdistan, those who has no voice of theirs in Kurdistan. ROJ has brought sense of identity and belongings to Kurds and some may wonder how and why the free world should turn a blind eye to very principle that they protect and respect or their own citizens.

ROJ TV has also played an important role in empowering younger generations of Kurds throughout of the Diaspora and homeland, keeping them in touch with each other and with their unique heritage. It has supported the career development of many successful artists, musicians and film-makers, and renewed a sense of pride in the contributions of the Kurds to many world cultures around the world. It provides them with positive role models and a means of education regarding the positions and activities, to say nothing of keeping people abreast of events in the Middle East.

Further, ROJ TV has provided a means of contact and a voice for those Kurds in places like Syria and the former Soviet Union as well as Iranian and Iraqi Kurdistan, who would not otherwise have any connection to Kurds in other regions, due to the isolation and repression they suffer in their home communities. It is a sole means of informing people about events taking place across borders, not only the Kurds but those who participate in their struggle, and in the general struggle for peaceful solutions to the issues facing the Middle East generally.

The threat ROJ TV is face with by looking at recent political climates and significant damage to formation of identify and image and meaning of freedom of media also by drawing a parallel between the opportunities and constraints of human mobility and border controls with those on political ideas but freedom of expression in the 21st century's world of digital media which dose not recognise border controls and scope of a satellite broadcast, which cant be restricts a specific geographical area, and that's here Amir Hassanpour's quote nicely applies that ''Kurdish TV gave sovereignty to the Kurds in the sky'' . So giving such factors, the Kurds and the free loving world can say to Turkey that: your threat to block the Kurdish TV once again would be a failure.

No matter how dark the night is, ROJ always starts shining the next day

Kameel Ahmady maintains a website at:

Monday, October 16, 2006

Turkish Government blocks viewers from watching ROJ TV

10/14/2006 - By Nezar Ahmet

Turkish authorities have entered a new stage in their long campaign against free Kurdish television and broadcasting in Northern Kurdistan (Turkey ) by successfully blocking one of the main Kurdish television stations broadcasting from Denmark . According to a number of sources in Northern Kurdistan, the Turkish Government has successfully blocked viewers in Kurdistan from watching the Kurdish television station, ROJ TV.

Unconfirmed reports have stated that the Turkish Government appears to have cut off access to the station by jamming satellite signals. The signal has been completely blocked off in several cities throughout Northern Kurdistan such as Elih (Batman), Riha (Sanli-Urfa), Culemerg (Hakkari), Veransher and Gever (Yusekova). Other cities in both Kurdistan and western Turkey, such as Istanbul and Izmir, have reportedly been experiencing very bad signals in the past week. Experts claim that jamming transponders on a commercial satellite is a relatively easy thing to do with the available modern technology. Such a method effectively blocks satellite signals and disallows viewers from watching satellite stations cut off.

Some anonymous sources commented that the blocking of ROJ TV is very disturbing and appears to be a direct consequence of the constitutional and legal regulations that do not allow free Kurdish broadcasting in Turkey. Following recent pressures by the EU on Turkey to make democratic reform, the Turkish Government has granted limited rights for broadcasting in the Kurdish language by airing 45-minute programs on State Television every week. Recently, a representative of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) and mayor of Culemerg, Matin Tekche, met with an EU delegation and raised the issue that the beaming of ROJ TV in Kurdistan is constantly disrupted. Both the mayor and representatives of the Civil Society informed the delegation about the importance of ROJ TV for the Kurdish viewers in the area. The Turkish Government has responded by doing anything to try and shut down the satellite station and the recent developments in their satellite jamming are part of that campaign.

The Turkish Government has repeatedly demanded that Denmark revoke the Kurdish station's broadcasting license and has claimed that ROJ TV has connections with Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The Danish Government has refused to shut down ROJ TV but has agreed to investigate whether the content of its programs is in line with the Danish legislation of freedom of expression. Fifty-six mayors of the pro-Kurdish DTP have signed a letter asking the Danish Government to resist pressure from the Turkish Government on the issue of ROJ TV. The Turkish Government responded by charging all mayors with providing assistance to the PKK by signing the letter. If convicted in Turkish courts, the mayors could each face heavy fines and/or up to 15 years in prison.

ROJ TV broadcasts in nine different languages and provides a range of programs from news and happenings in Kurdistan to Kurdish music and children's shows. The station has denied having any links to the PKK and continues to maintain that their broadcasts are important for Kurdish viewers all over the world. In an official Danish statement, "In April 2006, the Danish Radio and TV Council made an official statement, responding on a complaint from the Embassy of Turkey in Copenhagen over Roj TV, that it did not find that Roj TV had broken Danish law, Roj TV's programming contained no incitement to hatred of Turkey, and as such it could see no reason whatsoever to stop Roj TV from broadcasting."

Source :

Orhan Pamuk wins 2006 Literature Nobel

Posted online: Friday, October 13, 2006 at 0025 hours IST

STOCKHOLM, OCT 12: Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's best-known novelist and incendiary social commentator, won the 2006 Nobel prize for Literature on Thursday.

In its citation for the 10 million Swedish crown (733,000 pounds) prize, the Swedish Academy said: "In the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city, (Pamuk) has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures." Pamuk, who just months ago went on trial for insulting "Turkishness", was the first author in the Muslim world to condemn the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. The Academy said his international breakthrough came with his third book, "Beyaz Kale" or "The White Castle", a historical novel about the relationship of a Venetian slave with the young scholar who buys him, and their gradual blurring of identities.

The Swedish Academy said Pamuk in his writing often plays with the notion of self and of doubles, themes that appeared again in a later work, "Kara Kitap" or "The Black Book", in which the main character searches Istanbul for his wife and her half-brother, with whom he later exchanges identities. Pamuk, whose best-selling novels include "My Name is Red" and "Snow", focuses in his work on the clash between past and present, East and West, secularism and Islamism — problems at the heart of Turkey's struggle to develop. In January, a Turkish court dropped criminal charges against Pamuk who was charged under article 301 of a new penal code, which forbids insulting Turkish identity.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

General Buyukanit is not happy about freedom of expression

"Unfortunately a country, considering the separatist, violent and terrorist propaganda broadcast of a TV channel as freedom of speech, took the side of the terrorist organization instead of its ally," added Gen. Buyukanit."

Source: The New Anatolian October 3 , 2006

Monday, October 02, 2006

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen wanted the TV station to keep running

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen wanted the TV station to keep running

Photo © European Commission

Fifty-six Kurdish mayors have gone on trial in Turkey, charged with aiding and abetting a terrorist organisation. The mayors, from Turkey's largest Kurdish party, are charged by state prosecutors with "knowingly and willingly" helping Kurdish rebels when they urged Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen not to close Danish-based Kurdish broadcaster Roj TV.
The government in Ankara says the station is a mouthpiece for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Forty-five of the mayors attended the opening hearing.
Mr Rasmussen had earlier expressed his outrage over the indictment.
"I find it rather shocking," he told the Danish media in June. "It is shocking that it can take place in a country which is seeking EU membership."
The PKK took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984 with the aim of carving out an ethnic homeland in the southeast. More than 30,000 people have been killed in that conflict. The EU and the United States, as well as Turkey, view the PKK as a terrorist organisation.