Greek radio back in Istanbul

Greek radio back in Istanbul

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Greek radio back in Istanbul

The first question directed to us is whether we are given a hard time. There is nothing that would lead us to hesitate, Andrea Rombopulos, the radio station’s founder and chief executive says.

The Rum (Anatolian Greek) community of Istanbul launched its first radio station in half a century two weeks ago over the internet with surprising success.

“Iho Tis Polis” (Voice of the City) began broadcasting at the website, because financial constraints have forced the producers to turn to the internet rather than purchasing a radio frequency.

“We selected music as our [primary] format, because Greek music has a lot of fans, and then we enriched our broadcast with news, interviews and guests. We were targeting the 2,500-strong Rum community in Turkey, and we received more than 5,000 clicks within two weeks,” Andrea Rombopulos, the radio station’s founder and chief executive, told the Hürriyet Daily News.

The idea of establishing a radio station had been on the minds of Iho Tis Polis’s founders since the 1990s, but financial realities had dictated otherwise, according to Rombopulos, who also represents Greece’s Mega Television in Turkey and is the chief editor of the daily IHO, a Rum journal published in Istanbul.

Target audience

“We were aiming to reach the Rum community in Istanbul, but we turned out to become the voice of Greeks scattered across all corners of the world,” Rombopulos said, adding that the station has received messages from various countries around the globe.

The radio station currently broadcasts 24 hours a day with an entirely volunteer staff, Rombopulos said.

“Our primary goal is to preserve the Greek [language] and transmit the latest developments pertaining to the Rum community. If we could muster the [necessary] funds, we also want to start a broadcast in Turkish as well. We are even going to include cultural activities from the diaspora in the news,” said Rombopulos.

Some members of the Rum community from Istanbul who have settled in different countries have rebuked the producers for airing music from certain Greek pop singers on the station, Rombopulos explained. “They say [we] are a radio from Istanbul, and that [we] ought to air higher-quality songs. We respect every point of view.”

When the radio station began broadcasting, the Greek media was the first to cover it. “The first question directed [to us] was whether [we had been] given a hard time. There is nothing that would lead us to hesitate, and no one gave us any hard time,” Rombopulos said.