Closure of Kurdish channels brought to European Parliament

Meeting at the European Parliament on 17 May 2017. (ANF)

Member of the European Parliament, Marie-Christine Vergiat, hosted a press conference in Strasbourg on Wednesday together with representatives from three Kurdish TV channels that French-based satellite provider Eutelsat is trying to close down upon a request from Turkish media authority RTUK, ANF reported.

“Eutelsat has great economic interests in Turkey,” said Vergiat. “Economic interests come before some fundamental and universal values.”

Ferda Cetin, director of News Channel, said that Eutelsat had chosen to stop distributing the Kurdish channels in Europe without basing the decision on any court decision.

Fusun Erdogan of the same channel said that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) had put an end to press freedom in Turkey in 2016. She recalled the closure of Med Nuce and Newroz TV last year and said that the hands of Turkey and its media authority RTUK reached far beyond its borders.

News Channel is a channel focusing on Kurdish related issues in the Turkish language while Sterk broadcasts in the Kurdish language from Brussels, Belgium. Ronahi TV is a Kurdish channel that broadcasts from the Rojava autonomous region in northern Syria and Brussels.

According to Turkish authorities, the three channels have ties with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).