Azeri paper says Radio Liberty resumes broadcasts on Turksat

Text of Information Department report by Azerbaijani opposition newspaper Azadliq on 10 November headlined “Dogan resolved Liberty’s problem”

Broadcasts of Radio Liberty’s Azeri Service, which were suspended on Turksat around a fortnight ago, resumed on 7 November. The director of the Azeri Service, Kanan Kazimoglu, has confirmed the report. Problems with broadcasting on Turksat have been resolved.

In fact, it was not clear what the problem was. What is important is that the problem has been resolved and the broadcasts have resumed. The broadcasts resumed on Turksat but on a different frequency. We hope that the broadcasts will continue without problems, Kazimoglu told Azadliq.

According to information we have received from our private sources, Radio Liberty broadcasts have resumed on a frequency belonging to Turkey’s well-known Dogan Media Group. The management of the group, which includes well-known media organizations like Kanal D, Star TV and D-Smart, is in opposition to the Turkish government. A court proceedings between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Dogan management was in the media spotlight for a long time.

Another report says that Radio Liberty may start functioning as Liberty TV some time in the future. There has been talk about this for a long time, but now the discussions have become serious. Some steps are expected to be taken in this direction after Aydin Dogan [the owner of the Dogan Media Group], who is currently said to be visiting the USA, returns.

We reported on the real reasons behind the suspension of both Radio Liberty and Voice of America broadcasts on Turksat in our previous issues. We said that the Azerbaijani authorities had a hand in this. During Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s Baku visit [on 22 October], Azerbaijani officials took advantage of tension between the two countries and asked for both radio channels to be taken off Turksat. For his part, Davutoglu passed the request on to Erdogan. Broadcasts of both radio channels on Turksat were suspended then.

[Turan news agency, Baku, in Russian 0645 gmt 10 Nov 09 said that broadcasts of Voice of America and Radio Liberty Azeri Service programmes were suspended on Turksat on 27 October "for unclear reasons".