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Six Minutes to Freedom
 
 
New Kurdish Satellite Channel Roj TV Launched
March 2, 2004


On 1 March the new Kurdish satellite television station, Roj TV, began broadcasting on the Hot Bird 6 satellite at 13 degrees east, 11585 MHz vertical, symbol rate 27500.

Throughout the day, the channel broadcast scenes of the Kurdish countryside and villages over Kurdish music, with occasional announcements in Kurdish, Arabic and Turkish on the various programmes to be carried by Roj TV. The news in Turkish is aired daily at 1800 gmt.

At 1800 gmt on 1 March, the station began a live relay of the launching ceremony for Roj TV at an unspecified location.

Addressing the ceremony in English, Manouchehr Tahsili Zonoozo, director of the Mesopotamia Broadcasting Company of which Roj TV is a member, said the television "presents the Kurdish people's rich and diverse cultural heritage". Underlining the importance of practising one's mother tongue in terms of upholding one's culture, Zonoozo notes that "Roj TV will shoulder the responsibility to protect and preserve the Kurdish culture and language." "Roj TV's programmes will be concentrated on news, cultural activities and entertainment. In presenting all the aspects of life, Roj TV will respect and defend human rights, freedom of speech and other universal rights ratified in the United Nations Convention," he stated.

Zonoozo said that the channel would broadcast daily between 1300 and 2300 CET [1200-2200 gmt] and outlined the range of the programmes to be aired.

Two of the programme announcers, Elif Ozan and Sabri Agar, are former employees of Medya TV, the Kurdish TV channel which was supportive of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, PKK; the Freedom and Democracy Congress of Kurdistan, Kadek; and the People's Congress of Kurdistan, Kongra-Gel.

Source: BBC Monitoring research 2 Mar 04 (BBCM Mar 2, 2004)
 
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