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Turkey launches tv channel in Kurdish

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Turkey launches tv channel in Kurdish


In what seems to be a major shift of policy, Turkish state television has launched a channel broadcasting only in Kurdish. TRT-6 went on air with traditional Kurdish dancing and a concert. Turks and Kurds are embroiled in an armed struggle, with thousands killed in rebel attacks in support of a Kurdish homeland. But Ankara seems to have relaxed its position under pressure from the EU, which Turkey is keen to join.

And, even more unexpected than TRT-6 itself, was the sight of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan becoming the first-ever Turkish leader to speak in once-banned Kurdish when, at a press conference, he said “May TRT-6 be beneficial.” Turkey continues to fight the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party, and may use the new channel to cut its support by luring viewers away from the Europe-based Kurdish Roy-tv satellite station which is accused of broadcasting rebel propaganda.

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