Turkey: Case against support for Danish/Kurdish channel postponed

A case against 53 Turkish [Kurdish] mayors has been postponed for the 4th time.  The mayors are suspected of supporting terrorism, which carries a possible sentence of 15 years in prison.  The case has been pushed off to January 29th, 2008, says the deputy head of the Danish embassy in Ankara.  Like the previous times, the reason is that a document from the Danish Radio and TV Board was not transferred to Turkey.

The mayors are charged with sending an open letter to the Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen asking him not to close down Kurdish TV station ROJ that broadcasts via satellite from offices in Denmark.

The letter was sent in December 2005 after the Turkish government asked Denmark to intervene with the station.  According to the Turkish government - and the USA - ROJ is financed by the Kurdish Workers' Party PKK, that is considered a terrorist organization.

The prime minister has gone as far as requesting that it be investigated whether terror organizations can legally support media and organizations in Denmark.  

The Danish Radio and TV Board had established that the station adheres to Danish law.  This decision is causing the Turkish court problems, and as before, the case has been postponed.

ROJ TV is a Kurdish TV channel broadcasting movies, children's programs, talks shows and entertainment, culture programs, documentaries and news in  Europe and the Middle East.  It reaches 28 million Kurds in 78 countries.  ROJ TV has been broadcasting from Denmark since March 2004.  The channel is owned by Mesopotamia Broadcast, a Danish media company based in Copenhagen which also owns TV channel Mesopotamia TV (METV) and Radio Denge Mezopotamya.

Source: DR (Danish)

See also: ROJ TV on Wikipedia (English)

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