TRT launches its long-awaited Arabic TV channel

by Andy Sennitt.

Turkey’s state-run Radio and Television Corporationr TRT launched its new Arabic-language satellite TV channel yesterday, a move that the country’s prime minister hailed as a landmark uniting the Turkish and Arab people. “TRT al Turkiye” will broadcast in Arabic around the clock and is expected to reach 350 million people throughout the Arab world. Most of the programmes will be presented by native Arabic speakers.

The channel’s launch marks “a historic day for Turkish-Arab friendship,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the broadcast’s opening ceremony at Istanbul’s Dolmabahce Palace. “It is a line of communication between our hearts. It is a new channel that unites our hearts,” Mr Erdogan said, adding that he hoped the new channel would improve the brotherhood, unity and solidarity between the Turkish and Arab people.

TRT Director-General ?brahim Sahin said the TRT’s new channel would enable Turkey and Arab countries to know each other better. “TRT Arabic will broadcast a range of programmes from politics to sports, from movies to TV series,” Mr Sahin said. “The Istanbul-based channel will also broadcast live from Cairo, Beirut, Damascus and Ankara.”

The Arabic channel will feature women and children’s programmes, floorshows, documentaries and news. Three satellite companies — Turksat, Arabsat and Nilesat — will provide transmissions for TRT al Turkiye.