Saturday, January 14, 2012

Will Roj TV Survive?

Roj TV is the PKK-affiliated Kurdish-language satellite network that has been broadcasting from Denmark since 2004 after similar networks were closed in the United Kingdom and Belgium. A Danish court this week has ruled that the network and the PKK are in close communication, and that on occasion, the channel has spread propaganda on behalf of the organization.

If one watches the channel, this is nothing new, and is exactly why the channel's presence in Denmark for the past seven years has been to the serious ire of Turks, including the state, which has since 2004 worked on a number of diplomatic levels to have Denmark revoke Roj-Tv's broadcast license. That did not happen yesterday, though the network was fined ~7,000€ and the case could clear the way for the Danish Ministry of Justice to close the channel for good.

One of the Wikileaks on Turkey reveals that part of the deal to overcoming Turkish objections to the appointment of former Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen's to serve as NATO secretary-general was that Denmark would, in turn, take steps to shutdown the station. The case ruled on this week is the result of an indictment filed in August by Denmark's attorney general.

Foreign Minster Ahmet Davutoglu said the case was the first step to assuring Roj be closed down.

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