Languages Other than Turkish on TV and Radio
There will be Bosnian, Kurdish, Zaza, Circassian and Arabic broadcasts on radio and TV once a week each. Kurds and Zazas think six o'clock in the morning is too early for the radio programs. Bosnians say they did not demand to have Bosnian broadcasts.
BIA News Center
08/06/2004 Erol ONDEROGLU
BİA (Istanbul) - Broadcasts in mother tongues
began in Turkey Monday with Bosnian programs on Turkish Radio and Television
(TRT) Radio 1 and TRT 3 television channel.
Lawyer Seyhan Turkkan, head of the Balkan Turks Solidarity and Culture Association, said they had not demanded Bosnian broadcasts.
Huseyin Aygun, head of the Tunceli Bar and the owner of the "Tunceli'de Munzur Haber" (Munzur news in Tunceli) newspaper, said hearing broadcasts in the Zaza dialect of Kurdish on TRT "is a historic development."
Alaaddin Aktas, deputy head of the Kurdish Institute, believes the state does not want Kurdish to be in spotlight.
Cumhur Bal, secretary-general of the Circassian Associations Federation, said Circassian broadcasts were positive. "The radio programs are too early during the day. And the programs should have a different format that TRT's classical news format."
Ferit Sahin, director of the Hatay Radio Television (HRT), said there were no requests for Arabic broadcasts because Arabic channels could be watched through the satellite. He said they might begin broadcasting Arabic video clips in the future.
Sadik Hor, deputy head of "Cay TV" (Tea TV) said TRT initially planned to broadcast programs in the Laz dialect but changed plans. "Our people are forgetting their own mother tongues," complained Hor.
Bianet asked journalists and representatives of non-governmental organizations what they thought about the Bosnian broadcasts on TRT Radio 1 and TRT 3 TV, and the plans to begin broadcasts in Arabic, Kirmanji, Circassian and Zaza.
Turkkan: "Broadcasts in any language can be watched through satellite"
* Those who have relatives in the Balkans speak Bosnian. Those who live here, feel they can take advantage of their right to freedom.
* Our members are disturbed that this is evaluated as a formal right. We can watch broadcasts in any language through satellite anyway. It is impossible that a half-hour TRT broadcast will do any good. It is not surprising that a decision, taken by pressure from the EU, will be imperfect.
Aktas: "They don't want Kurdish to be in spotlight"
"We do not intend to object to Bosnian broadcasts," said Aktas, who believes that through Bosnian broadcasts, Kurdish broadcasts are made to seem ordinary.
"Kurdish is a language spoken by and embraced by 20 million people. There have been 29 revolts for this language and for freedom. This is such an unserious approach," said Aktas.
Bal: "No one asked for our support but we are ready to offer our contributions."
Cumhur Bal, secretary-general of the Circassian Associations Federation, said Circassian broadcasts were a positive development.
"No one asked for our support but we stated that we are ready to offer our contributions. The radio broadcasts are a little too early in the morning. TV broadcast times are good."
Bal said the people would be able to get to know each other better through
these broadcasts and thus stop seeing each other as a threat.
Sahin: "Arabic broadcasts on TRT would not be fruitful"
Ferit Sahin, head of the Hatay Radio Television (HRT) said there was no demand for Arabic broadcasts in the region. He added four Syrian television channels could be viewed through satellite.
Sahin said 70-80 percent of people in the region owned satellites and added there were 40-50 Arabic channels on satellite.
"I don't think Arabic broadcasts will be that fruitful. It will not be that meaningful for the people here."
Hor: "Programs in the Laz dialect, not songs are the problem."
Sadik Hor, deputy head of Cay TV said TRT initially planned to broadcast programs in the Laz dialect but changed plans. "Those under the age of 20 don't know this dialect. And those who know it, are forgetting their own mother tongue," said Hor.
Hor said the Bosnian broadcast was made in such a mind frame, so that the state could say, "Did we do it? Yes we did."
"Aygun: Historic and great development"
Huseyin Aygun, head of the Tunceli Bar and the owner of "Tunceli'de Munzur Haber" newspaper, said it was "a historic and great development" that TRT would start broadcasting programs in the Zaza dialect of Kurdish.
Aygun said there should be more and lengthier programs, and that the content should be improved. This should be done by consulting the people in the region, according to Aygun. (EO/YS/EA/YE)