'Turkish state TV to launch full Kurdish broadcast': PM

One channel of state-run Turkish Radio & Television Corporation (TRT) will fully broadcast in Kurdish, even in Arabic and in Persian languages in southeastern Turkey, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday.

'Turkish state TV to launch full Kurdish broadcast': PM

In an interview on private ATV channel, PM Erdogan said language courses in Kurdish can easily be opened in Turkey.

"According to my surveys in southeastern Anatolia, our citizens have no such problems. They can open courses wherever they want," Erdogan told journalists.

"Kurdish people are the principal element of Turkey. They can not have any problems like assimilation or integration," Erdogan said.

He said Kurdish broadcast is not banned in Turkey, however, such restrictions are brought for broadcast by the terrorist organization.

"The problem grows out of broadcast content," he added. "I watched one of the satellite channels broadcasting in Kurdish that urged people to become human shields. It is impossible to welcome that broadcast. Such content is not allowed in Turkish either."

When asked, "problem in southeast Anatolia region is the problem of poverty, violence and terrorism. Can we say there is not any other problem in the region?" Erdogan said, "we cannot say. There is the cultural dimension of the issue."

Erdogan noted that citizens in the southeast Anatolia region are represented more than the citizens in western parts. He added that for example one parliamentarian is elected with votes of 100,000-110,000 citizens in Istanbul, while one parliamentarian is elected with votes of 7,000-8,000 citizens in a province of southeastern Anatolia region.


Regarding Cyprus issue, Erdogan said they would wait for the result of Greek Cypriot elections, adding that Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos did not want to sit at negotiation table. Erdogan added that Turkey would maintain its Cyprus policy.

When asked whether the presence of PKK terrorist organization in the north of Iraq was really weakened, Erdogan said the process continued, and it had many dimensions such as physical, psychological and financial. He added that all the required things would be fulfilled regarding the issue.


On the headscarf issue, Erdogan said there were circles in Turkey who attempted to make political gain over the discussions on secularism.

"Those who wear headscarves and those who do not wear them are all my sisters and I would not make any discrimination between them, because upholding secularism needs respect and protection for all faiths and practices" Erdogan said.

Erdogan however said there could be provocative attempts in the future regarding the headscarf issue, accusing certain media outlets of already making such preparations.

"We are well aware of those attempts but no one should worry about this issue because responsibility remains with me, my government and my party. There is no such thing in this country as a regime crisis," Erdogan said.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Şubat 2008, 20:16