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Six Minutes to Freedom
 
 
Medya TV CEO Denies Links with PKK
February 25, 2004


FRANCE/KURDISTAN--A Kurdish satellite channel based in Paris, Medya TV, has been taken off the air by French authorities because of suspected links with a Kurdish militant group banned in Turkey, the head of the station said February 24. A high court, the Council of State, ruled February 11 that the channel posed "risks to public order" and therefore could not obtain a broadcast licence required under a 2001 law, Medya TV chief executive Musa Kaval said.

The station, one of the more popular seen by the Kurdish population in Turkey, ceased operating the next day, he said, adding that it had existed for nearly five years without any problem. The French court believed that the station had ties with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), an armed group outlawed as a terrorist organisation in Turkey, according to documents giving the verdict. The PKK was officially dissolved in 2002, but has continued under a succession of different names.

Asked about France's suspicions, Kaval said he "personally" had no links to the PKK, but noted that the group had been one of a few parties which had responded to the channel's invitations to air its views in front of the camera.The court's decision meant the channel would now be wound up, with most of its 100 employees laid off, he said
(AFP via SCDX/MediaScan Feb 25, 2004 via DXLD 4-037)
 
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