Jul 28 2018

Turkish TV watchdog fines Kurdish kids’ TV channel

Turkish broadcasting watchdog RTÜK has fined Kurdish-language children’s television channel Zarok TV for “promoting terrorism” by including a song that talked about Kurdistan, opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet said.

The channel, which had been closed down by RTÜK for a period during the state of emergency and which was placed under the supervision of the Culture and Tourism Ministry by decree upon re-opening, had included a folk song called “Gulamın Cızîra Botane” in a programme on March 17.

The song, RTÜK said, included the words “Kurdistan”, “the resistance of the east” and “the resistance of Nusaybin”, the latter a reference to a Kurdish-majority town on the border with Syria.

On March 20, another programme included the Kurdish folk song “Kurdistan pir şêrîne”, which included the lyrics “Kurdistan is very sweet. You are the home of the Kurds. You are the oil-lamp and the firewood, you are our voice in the world.”

Positive references to a Kurdistan served the interests of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a militant Kurdish autonomist group which Turkey, the US and other countries consider a terrorist organisation, RTÜK said.

The program makers and the channel were both fined, and the channel was sentenced to five instances of stopping the programme from airing.