Turkey: Supporters of Kurdish tv station criminalised


Supporters of Kurdish tv station criminalised

56 Kurdish mayors who stood up for Danish-based Kurdish Roj TV have gone on trial in Turkey, charged with aiding and abetting the outlawed terrorist organisation Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)

45 of the mayors attended the opening hearing in Diyarbakir, the largest city in Turkey’s Kurdish-dominated south-east, reports BBC News. They are charged by state prosecutors with “knowingly and willingly” helping Kurdish rebels. The mayors – all members of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party – face up to 15 years in prison each if found guilty.
The Danish government has been under diplomatic pressure from Ankara to revoke Roj TV’s licence, but so far the Danish government has refused to do so, citing freedom of speech.
In December 2005, 57 Kurdish and Turkish musicians together with 77 Kurdish and Turkish academics, artists, and cultural centres signed a petition against the attempt to ban Roj TV which reserves a fifth of its broadcasting time to Kurdish music programmes.


BBC News – 27 September 2006:
‘Kurdish mayors on trial in Turkey’