Roj TV fined in Denmark
ANKARA / COPENHAGEN
Kurds living in Denmark demonstrate in front of the court building in Copenhagen after Kurdish TV station, Roj TV, was sentenced to be fined for violation of Danish terror law.Ankara has asked Denmark’s supreme broadcasting board to ban a Kurdish television station affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) after a Danish court decided yesterday not to ban ROJ TV.
A Copenhagen court sentenced ROJ TV to pay a 400,000-euro fine for making propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organization yesterday but did not order the closure of the pro-Kurdish broadcaster.
“Our expectation from the board is to adopt a [strong line] against terrorism and ban the broadcaster,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said in a joint press conference with his Tunisian counterpart.
The minister said the court decision outlined links between the PKK and ROJ TV and left the decision for closure to the supreme broadcasting board.
The court’s decision was an initial step, he said, adding that Turkey demanded that this decision be applied.
A prosecutor had filed a lawsuit in August, requesting the closure of ROJ TV and its parent company, Mesopotamia Broadcast A/S METV, on the grounds that it was making propaganda for the PKK, which is considered a terrorist organization by the European Union, Turkey and the United States.
Copenhagen City Court ruled that the station violated a Danish anti-terror law but the country’s laws did not permit the shuttering of ROJ TV, the Associated Press reported. Despite this, the broadcaster was given a fine for making propaganda for the illegal group and for receiving financing from a terrorist organization.
ROJ TV does not own studios in Denmark, but broadcasts to 68 countries from Copenhagen via satellite thanks to a license it obtained in 2004.
Turkish Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek reacted to the Danish court’s decision, saying: “This station supports terrorism. Those who advise us are blind to their own ugliness.”
Addressing the issue via Twitter, EU Minister Egemen Bağış said he hoped the prosecutor would appeal the decision and that the higher court would “fix” the decision so that justice was served.
“I expect the prosecutor’s office to appeal this verdict,” Turkish Ambassador to Denmark Berki Dibek told reporters after the verdict. “Roj TV keeps broadcasting and is inciting terror.”
Prosecutor Anders Riisager said he would have to study the 175-page verdict before deciding whether to appeal.
Some 300 pro-Kurdish demonstrators who had gathered at a square near the court started chanting in celebration after the verdict was announced. ROJ TV manager İmdat Yılmaz told the Associated Press he was satisfied with the ruling.