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 Denmark: More PKK connections to Kurdish TV station exposed

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Denmark: More PKK connections to Kurdish TV station exposed  31.5.2010  

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May 31, 2010

COPENHAGEN, — Berlingske Tidende newspaper’s allegations that ROJ-TV has been funded by the PKK is being criticised by local Kurdish organisations.

Allegations that Copenhagen-based Kurdish television station ROJ-TV has direct links to the Turkey Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were given more credence this past weekend when it was discovered that the bodyguard to the organisation owns 20 percent of the station.

According to Berlingske Tidende newspaper, Kurdish Swede Ibrahim Ayaz has had ownership in the station since 2008 and is a current member of its board of directors.                     

Copenhagen-based Kurdish television station ROJ-TV
Ayaz became PKK founder Abdullah Öcalan’s bodyguard and personal assistant in 1998 and was present when Turkish elite soldiers captured the leader and took him back to Turkey to stand trial for high treason.

ROJ-TV’s administrators have consistently denied any direct links to the PKK, which is on both the EU and US’ terrorist lists.

The Justice Ministry’s Civil Affairs Agency twice threatened to fine the station after investigations into funding from the Kurdish Culture Foundation,
www.ekurd.netmuch of which they believed came from the PKK. However, no sanctions were ever brought against the foundation, despite that the large sums of money continued to support ROJ-TV.

Berlingske Tidende indicated last week that ROJ-TV has been allowed to keep up to 118 million kroner of illegal funding since 2004.

In addition, the newspaper stated that Henrik C. Winkel, the station’s board chairman, reportedly told sources that he was no longer making the decision after Ayaz joined the board.

ROJ-TV executives have not yet commented on the latest information about Ayaz’s ownership in the station. However, 19 Kurdish organisations were behind a written protest against Berlingske Tidende for its ‘prejudicial’ reporting on the station.

In the statement, the organisations assert that the information brought to light by the newspaper has been in the police’s possession for some time and that it ‘far from proves any economically binding connection’ to the PKK.

The PKK is considered a 'terrorist' organization by Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which overturned a decision to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its political wing on the European Union's terror list.

The PKK demanded Turkey's recognition of the Kurds' identity in its constitution and of their language as a native language along with Turkish in the country's Kurdish areas, the party also demanded an end to ethnic discrimination in Turkish laws and constitution against Kurds, ranting them full political freedoms.

Since 1984 the PKK took up arms for self-rule in the mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey [Turkey-Kurdistan] which has claimed around 45,000 lives of Turkish soldiers and Kurdish PKK guerrillas.

A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.

Copyright, respective author or news agency, The Copenhagen Post, cphpos dk | Agencies   


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