EU court to determine whether Germany can
block Kurdish ROJ TV signal
STRASBOURG, — The EU is now being drawn into
the controversy surrounding Kurdish TV station ROJ
TV, in response to its former head earlier this year
telling Danish media that it has links to the
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an organisation which
is on the US and EU’s terror list.
The court is now looking into whether Germany can
block the signal from the Danish-based TV station,
even through this goes against EU regulations.
Danish police have for years been attempting to find
out if there is a link between ROJ TV and the Turkey
Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK, but the German
state is not being as lenient. It wants the signal
stopped in Germany as it believes the TV station is
controlled by the PKK, and contacted the EU court to
seek an allowance to stop the signal.
Kurdish ROJ TV
However, EU law states
that only the country in which the station is based
can do this.
And it is now feared by several MPs that the case
might harm Denmark’s reputation and make it look
like a weak link in the EU’s fight against terror.
In 2005 it was the Turkish premier Recep Tayyip
Erdogan who, at a press conference in Denmark with
his Danish counterpart, suddenly left the room when
he saw among the crowd of journalists two Roj TV
reporters. "There is room only for one of us: if
they don't leave I will", said an angry Erdogan. And
it was him who had to leave the room, after the
polite but firm reply by the Danish authorities,
"For us freedom of the press is a value to respect
and to uphold. We will not censor any journalist".
In other words, sorry Prime Minister, but it's you
who should go. And Erdogan did leave, but he has
been holding a grudge against the Danish government
Roj TV was born as Med TV on 30 March 1995. On 14
April of that year it broadcast the founding
congress of the Kurdish Parliament in exile. Over
the years in the four parts of the divided Kurdistan
(Iran, Turkey, Iraq and Syria) as well as all over
the world the satellite dishes grew like mushrooms
to receive the precious signal which was coming from
Europe to give the Kurds everywhere images and
voices of their country. Med TV was broadcasting
from Belgium and soon Turkish pressures convinced
the local authorities to act against the television.
In September 1996 with a massive police operation
Med TV is raided,www.ekurd.netits
staff detained, archives seized.
Roj TV has a very various programming, from news, to
in depth investigation programs, from live music
programs to live debates. It broadcasts in Kurdish (Sorani,
Kurmanci and Zazaki) as well as in Turkish.
was on 4 March this year. Dozens of arrests were
carried out once again by the Belgian authorities
acting on request from Turkey. And indeed Turkish
policemen took part in the raid at Roj TV studios
which were destroyed. The television as a result of
this clearly politically motivated operation
suffered a €1.2 million loss in material damage.
Since 1984 the PKK [Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan] 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
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
A large Turkey's Kurdish community estimate to 25
million openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK
Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population
as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural
rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish
language and private Kurdish language courses with
the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish
politicians say the measures fall short of their
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.
author or news agency, The Copenhagen Post | cphpost
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