Monday, October 11 2010
Roj Tv Production Company Staff 11.10.2010- Roj TV has been broadcasting under Denmark license since 1 March 2004. On 31 August 2010, with the permission of the Ministry of Justice a closure case has been opened against Roj TV on the allegation of one-sided broadcasting and promoting terrorism. The case has not only been opened for the closure of ROJ TV and Mesopotamia Broadcast companies; but also the bank accounts of the two companies were confiscated by the prosecutor.
The systematic relationship and the special ties that the Copenhagen Prosecutor Lise-Lotte Nilas has developed for a long time with Turkey are effective on the case that he opened against Roj TV. Some of the below concrete examples will be very explanatory that how unfair and unjust is the case.
Roj TV has been broadcasting in all dialects of Kurdish, as well as Syriac, Arabic, Turkish, Persian and English since its establishment. ROJ TV is the only news, culture, art and music TV channel for Kurds who live in Iran, Syria, Iraq and Turkey, as well as for the Kurds who have to live any other countries in the world. Now, its closure is wanted on the allegation of one-sided broadcasting, promoting terrorism and supporting the terrorist organization. Confiscation of its bank accounts is also an actual closure.
We clearly express that there is no legal basis of this case and the decision of freezing of our accounts. This case, which is a fully action in line with the request of Turkish state and the international forces, is not only an injustice committed against Kurds but also a big blow to the freedom of thought and information. It is a massacre against thought and more importantly, it is an intervention which does not regard the will, language, culture, art and political identity of the Kurds whose population has reached 40 million in the world.
The closure case that the Copenhagen prosecutor opened against ROJ TV is completely opened in line with international economic and political interests. The Turkish state has had many attempts for the closure of ROJ TV for 6 years and with this case, it has already reached its objective for a certain extent. There are concrete facts that help us to identify all these.
Regarding the closure case against ROJ TV, following statement had been made by the Copenhagen Ambassador Berki Dibek; ‘’ We are happy with Denmark’s decision to open a closure case against ROJ TV. We are confident that Denmark authorities will charge this television. Ambassador Berki Dibek also said that ‘’ We were also in close cooperation with Denmark during the investigation and we will continue to be in close cooperation continue.
The statement of the ambassador is emerging very clearly that what the meaning of the closure case of Roj TV is. Also everyone knows that Turkish state focused whole its debate on the closure case of ROJ TV during the election of Anders Fogh Rasmussen for NATO’s General Secretary process. Turkey clearly indicated that it would give its positive vote to Rasmussen for the General Secretary election according to ROJ TV negotiate. Therefore, we define that this is not a legal case; it is a political one and it has been opened by the pressure of the Turkish state.
We would like to emphasise that by creating an international block, Turkish state first secured Germany and finally United States’ participation putting a very intense and systematic pressure on Denmark to prevent the ROJ TV broadcast. According to the reasons that the Turkish state put forward for the closure of ROJ TV, Denmark Media Secretariat presented a positive report to the relevant authorities in accordance with the international broadcasting principles, as a result of its research and investigation. Even the Denmark Media Secretariat’s report stated that ROJ TV broadcasts according to the international broadcasting principles and there is no proof of violent programs, opening the closure case of ROJ TV and confiscating its bank accounts by the Copenhagen prosecutor reveal that the decision is a political attitude. For about 5 years Police chiefs in Denmark and Copenhagen prosecutor, who have been stating in front of the media that despite of their research and in vestigation, ROJ TV had neither information nor documents proving that it had link with any illegal organization. For some reason, they accused ROJ TV for both ‘’having one-sided broadcast and promoting the terror’’. They promptly filed an action and confiscated our bank accounts.
This case is a ‘’self-interest decision’’, which has been taken because of the economic and military contracts between Turkey and Germany by the political directive of United States. Despite the economic and political pressure, Danish state has demonstrated a certain resistance attitude against this triple alliance. However, its independent stance and open stance against injustice has become vague. Not only Kurds are being sacrificed because of this desperate outcome, but also freedom of the press and the international human rights are damaged.
We would like to give some examples that reveal clearly how Turkey put pressure on Denmark and its government to close ROJ TV. These examples demonstrate that the decision, which is against us, is entirely political.
Turkey toughened its attitude at the process of electing the Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Turkey not only opposed his being candidate; but also used its veto right. Although Rasmussen was a common candidate for the West, it became difficult for him to be elected. At this time the United States and EU countries tried to persuade Turkey. Then Turkey attempted to a major blackmail against the United States and European countries. Besides its all other demands, Turkey added the closure of ROJ TV at the top of its list. Turkey said that "If you close ROJ TV, we do not use the veto right". Turkey also asked for the designation of Turkish members to NATO General Secretary Deputy, membership to the disarmament responsibility and Afghanistan NATO representation. As a result of the negotiations, the demands of Turkey were guaranteed and the Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan withdrew the veto. And regarding the crisis the Prime Minister stated that ‘’Our reservations has been solved by Mr. Obama and under his guarantee; so we concurred with them.’’ This statement was interpreted as the conditions such as stopping the ROJ TV broadcast in Turkey; a Turk among the Rasmussen’s assistants, Turkish soldiers to be at top-level positions will be performed. The closure case against ROJ TV justifies this interpretation..
At that time, not only the Turkish media but also international media gave wide publicity to the blackmailing attempts of the Turkish state in relation to its negotiations over ROJ TV’s fate.
In an article published in Ekstra Blade Anish newspaper, The Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s words ‘’ ROJ TV will be closed down (...) Rasmussen will apologise to the Islamic community’’ are an indication that the Prime Minister of Denmark is able to go against his own principles for the desire of becoming NATO General Secretary. In the same article it is commented that the cost of Rassmussen election for NATO’s General Secretary was to kneel before the Turkish President Abdullah Gul. Emphasizing that Denmark should not dispense with the importance it gives to the freedom of press and media, the article continues to question as to whether ‘’ROJ TV will be sacrificed for the sack of securing a position at NATO and related international policies relating to the Kurds.
The following words taken from the Turkish Minister and Chief Negotiator Mr. Egemen Bagis, you will see extend of the diplomatic pressure placed upon Denmark for the closure of our TV.
The statement of Turkish Prime Minister and Chief Negotiator Mr. Egemen Bagis were published in a Turkish newspaper: ‘’ The Minister Mr. Egemen Bagis has requested an appointment for an official visit to Denmark, a country he had not visited before. Speaking to a group of journalist on his way to Berlin Mr. Egemen Bagis stated that he had visited almost all European countries except Denmark due to its stands relating to ROJ TV; but after six years of investigations, ROJ TV has been indicted. After the indictment of our channel, the Turkish media used the following headlines:
‘’ …Denmark has given up…’’
‘’… Denmark has not been able to resist against the Turkish force…’’
‘’… Denmark gave into international pressure…’’
‘’… The ice between Denmark and Turkey is beginning to melt…’’
The Turkish press covered Ramussen’s visit to Turkey on the 7th October 2010 i.e. a short time after the indictment of ROJ TV with the following headlines.
‘’… Rasmussen is coming to Turkey today for the negotiations about ROJ TV…’’
A newspaper wrote the following:
‘’ Having visited Turkey relating to a few matters and in order to gain Turkey’s support Rasmussen equipped himself with the ROJ TV indictment…The closure of ROJ TV will be on his agenda at his meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister. The Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan commented that in order to resolve the crisis during the NATO General Secretary election they had been given certain guarantees regarding ROJ TV.’’
Another Turkish newspaper wrote the following:
‘’ Due to his previous stands on the closure of ROJ TV Rasmussen was almost pronounced as the most unwanted man in Turkey is expected to visit Turkey today to meet with the Turkish Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister. Issues such as Northern Cyprus, Afghanistan, PKK and ROJ TV will be on Rasmussen’s agenda’’
Two Turkish newspapers used the following headlines:
‘’… Rasmussen is visiting Turkey. ROJ TV is on the agenda…’’
‘’…The boycotting of Denmark has ended with the indictment of ROJ TV…’’
The Turkish state is persecuting the Kurdish media within its borders, whilst at the same time doing its utmost to try to silence the Kurdish press and media outside of its borders. With its policy of persecuting Kurdish press and media, freedom of thought, Turkey is well-known around the world for its disrespect for the freedom of speech, free media and thought. Using every diplomatic opportunity both locally and internationally, the Turkish state has always stated that criminalizing the Kurdish cause and bringing onboard international support is directly link to the ineffectiveness of Kurdish media and press and in particular ROJ TV.
The Turkish state war against Kurdish media and press is somewhat significant. In this war, it firstly censors the Kurdish media after which it issues millions of pounds and issues years of prison sentences, and if these do not work it results to the full closure. In essence, alongside its diplomatic attempts the Turkish government has utilized millions of dollars at trying to close down ROJ TV. When it could not defeat the consciousness of the international community, Turkey has tried to gain the support o the Individual countries. Clearly, The Danish Prosecutor indictment against ROJ TV is an indication of these dirty politics based on self-interest.
As indicated above, The Turkish state has utilized all its attempts to try to silence ROJ TV both within Europe and Denmark. The Copenhagen Prosecutor contains the complaints directly advocated by Turkey. These allegations had been previously disregarded by the Denmark Media Secretary. It has been clearly stated that ROJ TV had not breached the broadcasting codes. The most prominent example of our channels independence from any organization and not engaging in the propaganda of illegal organizations was the decision of the German Court to overrule Germany’s Internal Ministry decision to ban ROJ TV on the 19th June 2008.
The freedom of press, rights of Kurdish people to information, freedom of press and express their thoughts is clearly being breached with this case. Our TV channel has been criminalized on the baseless allegations that it has not deserved. This case has prompted instigated and encouraged the Turkish state to further its existing persecution of the Kurdish press and freedom and thought within its own borders.
Unfortunately, Kurds and Kurdish media have yet again become the victim of the international interests.
This case is unjust and therefore needs to be corrected. With its policy of multilingual broadcasting and respect for international media and broadcasting standards mean that the ban on over ROJ TV is not acceptable.
With the hope that you will do your best to assist in this regard, we greed you with our deepest respects.