Turkish PM hails first state-run Kurdish TV

Turkish premier hailed the start of country's state-run television broadcast in Kurdish as "a major step" for the Turkish democracy.

Turkish PM hails first state-run Kurdish TV

Turkish premier hailed on Tuesday the start of country's state-run television broadcast in Kurdish as "a major step" for the Turkish democracy.

"I consider television broadcast in Kurdish as a major step for the state to reach out to its people. The circle of democracy is wide and everyone within this circle has the right to free expression. And Kurdish broadcast is one of the best examples to that," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a weekly gathering of his Justice and Development (AK) Party lawmakers at parliament.

Turkey's state-run media network TRT began as of January 1, 24-hour broadcast in Kurdish on its channel, TRT 6.

"Our ethnic roots, faiths and our life styles may be different but we have strong common values that unites us. The most important one of those is the Turkish citizenship," Erdogan said.

"We do not need to be afraid of our differences for our common ties are strong. Considering and living our differences as our richness do not push us away from each other but just make us closer and stronger," Erdogan said.

Erdogan expressed hope that TRT 6 would be "a free voice of democracy" to uphold human values and strengthen peace.

The Turkish premier also said his Cabinet agreed during a meeting on Monday to restore the citizenship of famous Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet.

Turkey stripped Hikmet of his nationality in 1951. He died in exile in Moscow in 1963.

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Last Mod: 06 Ocak 2009, 16:28
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