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Turkish Radio And TV Stations Sign Deal To Broadcast In Kurdish

The Kurdish flag (AFP) March 17, 2006 -- Two private regional television channels and a radio station signed a deal with Turkey's broadcasting watchdog to begin programs in the Kurdish Kurmanci language on March 23.

The deal was signed in Ankara by Gun TV, Soz TV, and Medya FM. All three are based in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast.

Under the existing law, the broadcasts in the Kurdish language will be limited to 45 minutes a day and four hours a week for television. For radio, it will be limited to one hour a day and five hours a week.

EU-hopeful Turkey began Kurdish-language broadcasts on state television in 2004. The move broke a taboo that had banned Kurdish language for nearly 15 years.

Turkey has a 12-million-strong Kurdish minority. Authorities have long feared that granting the Kurds cultural rights would fuel separatism.

(Anadolu, AFP)