Kurdish-language cartoon channel to re-open, must ‘reflect Turkish culture’
ANKARAThe closure of a Kurdish-language cartoon channel and a radio station as part of the state or emergency has been conditionally lifted by a Prime Ministry commission headed by Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş, daily Cumhuriyet reported on Nov. 5.
Convened two weeks ago under the leadership of Kurtulmuş, the commission lifted the ban on Zarok TV and YÖN Radio.
Zarok TV, however, will be forced to ensure that 20 percent of the cartoons aired will be in Turkish while 40 percent of other programs will also have to be in Turkish. Additionally, the government has ordered that the channel’s programs “reflect Turkish culture.”
Zarok TV was launched in March 2015, becoming Turkey’s first Kurdish-language cartoon channel for children streamed in the Kurmanci, Sorani and Zazaki dialects of Kurdish.
Zarok TV was among the 12 television channels that were removed from Türksat, as part of a state of emergency decree issued in the Official Gazette after the July 15 failed coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by the followers of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
YÖN Radyo is particularly aimed at the country’s Alevi community and often plays “Türkü” music.
The decree law, however, includes an article that enables “private radio and TV channels that are not on the list, along with daily newspapers, magazines and publishing houses and distribution channels to be shut down by the commission that was set up by the corresponding ministry, with the approval of its minister.”