Threatened Closure of the pro-Kurdish Roj TV (To be published in Danish Media)

We wish to express our deep concern regarding the charges (supported publicly by the Danish Minister of Justice) brought against the pro-Kurdish television channel ROJ-TV for “supporting terrorists”, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Turkey has always tried to censor views on its Kurdish problem incompatible with the state ideology. ROJ-TV has since its foundation in 2004 been one of the many victims of this pressure. When Turkey urged Denmark to revoke ROJ- TV’s licence, the Danish independent broadcasting authority did not find any evidence to do so. Then more subtle, direct political pressure was put on the Danish Government. Turkey vetoed the appointment of Danish Prime Minister, Fogh Rasmussen, as Secretary General to NATO, because he refused to condemn the caricature of the Prophet, but relented when Denmark agreed to open a case against ROJ-TV. A deal behind the scenes had been made, Fogh Rasmussen against ROJ- TV, making this case highly politically loaded.

In freedom of expression cases before the European Court in Strasbourg, Turkey has the highest number of any country of complaints and sentences against it. Judgment is repeatedly given against Turkey for presenting blatant lies and false evidence to the Court. The case against ROJ- TV is based on 26 files submitted by Turkey, presumably also tainted by similar lies and false or twisted evidence.

We call on Danish authorities to resist the political pressure from Turkey and express the hope that Danish courts will do the same. Europe should assist in solving the Kurdish problem. This is not done by closing down ROJ- TV, the only channel today allowing Kurds in Turkey to receive news in their own language, without governmental censorship.

First signatories: 

Ms Kariane  Westrheim, Chair of EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC), Norway –
Mr Jon Rud, Human Rights Lawyer, Norway/Spain
Mr Erling Folkvord, Member of the City Council, Oslo & Former member of the Norwegian Parliament, Norway
Ms Ågot Valle, Former member of the Norwegian Parliament, Norway – Mr Haci Akman, Associate Professor, University of Bergen, Norway
Mr Yngve Seterås, Actor, The National Venue of Theatre, Bergen, Norway – Mr Hans Branscheidt, Frankfurt, Weltsichten / EUTCC, Germany
Jürgen Klute, Member EU Parliament, Brussels
Professor Michael Gunter, Tennessee, United States
Kamal Artin, KNC President, United States
Cankurd, Kurdish PEN Member, Writer, Bonn, Germany – Marianne Meier, swiss – Kurdish alliance , St.Gallen, Switzerland – Mr. Bert Bakkenes, author en Chief editor Informatiedienst, Kurdistan-Nederland, Amsterdam, Holland; Nikolaos Chountis, MEP GUE/NGL, GREECE – Mr. Ralf Michalowsky, MdL DIE LINKE. NRW, Parliamentary Secretary, Germany – Peter Oberholzer, fsk-swiss kurdish alliance, Grub 773, CH-9052 Niederteufen; Mr. Ali Atalan , MdL DIE LINKE. NRW, Migration and peace-policy spokesman, Member of the Committee on Petitions, Germany – Mr. Ahmet Celik, YEK-KOM president of the Federation of Kurdish Associations in Germany – Mrs. Monika Morres, AZADÎ e.V., Association for the rights of Kurds in Germany, Düsseldorf – Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, retired, Åbo Akademi University, Finland, University of Roskilde, Denmark – Prof. Wolfgang Dreßen, Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf, Politikwissenschaftler, Germany – Haydar Isik, Writer, Munich, Germany – Professor Raimund Rutten, Frankfurt, Germany – Professor Teilhard de Wever, Brügge University, Belgium – Mr. Dogan Ozgüden, Journalist, Info-Türk, Belgium  – Mrs. Inci Tugsavul, Journalist, Info-Türk, Belgium – Waltraud Weber, Italien – Sheila Mosley, United Kingdom – Khalaf Dahowd, United Kingdom – Natsumi Ajiki -Organization: University of Maryland – Country: USA
Professor Dilger Hoss, ETH Zürich, Switzerland – Jürgen Brodwolf, Artist, Freiburg, Germany – Esther Homburger, Bern, Swiss

Please support and add your name to the Signatories via: [email protected]