New Kurdish satellite TV station goes on air

Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 07-02-2012

Sterk TV, a satellite television channel broadcasting predominantly in the Kurmanci and Sorani dialects of Kurdish, has launched this week.

The channel will broadcast programmes 'reflecting the differences, colours and cultural richness of Iraqi Kurdistan' in addition to Turkish, Middle East and world current affairs, according to Today's Zamman.
Sterk TV had been producing test broadcasts since 2009, but its official launch on Monday (6 February) follows soon after satellite operator Eutelsat suspended fellow Kurdish station Roj TV for having links with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
The United States, European Union and Turkey class the PKK as a terrorist organisation.
Roj TV, which was based in Denmark, was found by a Danish court to have disseminated PKK messages, 'including incitement to revolt and to join the organisation' through its broadcasts between February 2008 and September 2010.
Although the channel was not banned from broadcasting, last month Eutelsat asked distributors to suspend broadcasts of the channel in order to avoid incurring criminal liability as an accomplice to terrorist activities.
The Turkish Government has long called for Roj TV to be banned while the PKK continues its near three decade long armed struggle for Kurdish rights and independence.