HDP denounces closure of Kurdish media in Europe and Turkey
The French group Eutelsat ended, on October 3, 2016, the broadcasting of Kurdish television channel Med NUCE, created in 2013, because of an outrageous and illegal decision dictated by Turkey.
The process used by Eutelsat to stop the broadcasting of the Kurdish television channel is similar to the repressive and arbitrary measures taken currently by the Turkish authorities against the media.
This channel is one of the few sources of independent and alternative information in a country like Turkey where the majority of the media are under state control.
The order of suspension of the channel occurred the same day as the closure of more than twenty television channels and radio stations in Turkey.
These channels included Zarok TV, a children’s channel; TV 10, particularly focusing on the Alevi community; Jiyan TV whose purpose is to promote the Kurdish “kirmancki” dialect; and Hayat TV, that focuses on working conditions and the workers’ struggle.
Not only the distribution of these channels was suspended, but their offices have also been sealed off by the Turkish authorities.
Following the interruption of the broadcast of Med NUCE, Turkish police raided the headquarters of IMC TV, one of the main pro-Kurdish TV channels, located in Istanbul, before ending its distribution. The IMC TV channel is known for its pluralistic position and its independent editorial line.
In Europe, by suspending the distribution of Med NUCE, Eutelsat objectively supported the unprecedented attacks on freedom of press and expression in Turkey. The channel was one of the last ways of expression for the Kurds as well as a large sections of society such as feminists, environmentalists, trade unionists, anti-capitalists, LGBTI, …
Since the coup attempt on July 15, the human rights situation in Turkey is deteriorating dangerously and Kurds and the democratic opposition are victims of an ongoing coup. The repression against the media and opposition has reached an unprecedented level.
The state of emergency introduced after the coup attempt is constantly extended, Kurdish newspapers are banned, journalists, intellectuals and academics are imprisoned, Kurdish mayors are put under administrative supervision, Kurdish cities are destroyed and the pro-Kurdish deputies are deprived of their parliamentary immunity and threatened with arrest.
So far, more than 90 journalists are being held in detention, which made Turkey, according to the platform of Jailed Journalists, the largest prison in the world for journalists. Not a single day passes without mass arrest. Tens of thousands of people have been arrested since July 15, due to a power struggle between President Erdogan and his former ally Fethullah Gulen.
But a merciless war had already been launched in 2015 in the Kurdish region of Turkey, resulting with the total destruction by the Turkish army of several Kurdish towns and the death of hundreds of civilians.
Med NUCE was one of the few media to report the crimes committed by the army in the region.
Human rights organizations have long feared the establishment of a fascist regime by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the Kurds and the Kurdish media are always the first target of this scheme.
European countries are a major sources of encouragement to the regime of Erdogan and the interruption of the broadcast of Med NUCE is a shame for Europe, but also a serious act that can be considered a signal of support to the repressive policies of Turkey.
We call on the European media to take a clear and strong position against injustice and for the freedom of the press, because this freedom has long been threatened in Europe too. This position is more than necessary to defend the right to freely exercise the profession of journalist.
We also call on the European institutions, including the European Parliament, to take responsibility and put pressure on Turkey by demanding the respect of fundamental rights.
The declarations of goodwill and calls for respect are not enough, we expect more concrete actions by European leaders.