Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Babacan calls on Denmark to ban ROJ TV

Babacan calls on Denmark to ban Roj TV
The New Anatolian / Ankara
26 September 2007
Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan urged his Danish counterpart Per Stig Moller in New York to shut down a Kurdish language television channel operating from Denmark and which Ankara accuses of broadcasting separatist propaganda to Turkey's mostly Kurdish populated southeastern Anatolia region.The two met on the sidelines of a UN summit on Monday.The satellite TV channel in question, Roj TV, has been broadcasting from Denmark for several years. In the meeting, Babacan stated that Turkey submitted proof of Roj TV’s separatist line, as requested by authorities in Copenhagen. Turkey says the TV station is linked with the PKK organization.“We have provided this evidence long ago and we now want you to take action” Babacan said.Moller said that an investigation was still underway and asked Turkey to be more patient.Babacan’s statements came on the same day when the chief of the Turkish Army, General Ilker Basbug warned against what he said was the rise of ethnic nationalism in Turkey."We will not let the formation of artificial distinctions and the introduction of these topics lead the country to polarization” Basbug said in a speech in the Army war collegeHe also criticized the United States for what he said was not acting against separatist Kurdish militants operating against Turkey from northern Iraq. Babacan also held separate talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmet Ali Aboul Gheit, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg and NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. The issue of Iraq and the Middle East peace process were high on agenda of the meeting between Babacan and his Egyptian counterpart Aboul Gheit. Aboul Gheit invited Babacan to Egypt, and Babacan accepted.Meanwhile, Babacan said at his meeting with NATO Secretary-General de Hoop Scheffer that Turkey is ready to make more contributions to NATO. On Tuesday Babacan met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Mahmud Zebari and EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana on Tuesday.


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