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Germany bans Kurdish television channel

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Germany bans Kurdish television channel
Turkish Kurds with PKK flags in Instanbul in March, 2008. Photo: DPA
07:34 CEST+02:00
Germany has banned a Kurdish television station from broadcasting in the country because it promotes the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said late on Tuesday.

Schäuble said that Danish-based Roj TV was a PKK “mouthpiece” and also ordered the closure of a production house based in the western German city of Wuppertal that supplies the channel with programming. Roj TV broadcasts via satellite in Germany.

“With its activites, the channel is an effect instrument for the continued operation of the banned PKK,” Schaeuble said in a statement. He said the channel promoted violence to bolster the Kurdish separatist cause and aimed to “recruit guerrilla fighters for armed conflict with Turkey”.

The interior ministry has had the production company under observation since September and raided its offices in May.

The PKK is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union and was banned in Germany — home to some 2.5 million people of Turkish origin — in 1993.

More than 37,000 people have been killed since it took up arms for self-rule in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish east and southeast in 1984.

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