State TV, just not a good idea
Famous Kurdish singer Rojin no longer wants to be the host of a cultural program on state-run Kurdish language channel TRT6. The program also focussed on women’s issues, but Rojin felt she was being censored and treated as a potential criminal: she had no control over the choice of guests on her show, and certain topics were not supposed to be discussed. Rojin’s show was one of the channel’s most important. Viewer numbers will now go down further, as the channel was already not very popular. I think it’s safe to say TRT6 is turning out to be a flop.
Not really a surprise. TRT is not public television; it’s really state television, which means whatever is broadcast reflects state views. That is just not compatible with what the target group wants, which is more freedom than the state gives them, and the right to be critical about how the state has always treated them. On top of that: on TRT6, Kurds can speak their own language, but they have to support the state’s version of an issue that is so close to their hearts and on which they really have a different view. How humiliating is that?
Recently, something also went wrong at the state-run Armenian radio: they chose to broadcast in a dialect that is not even understood by the Armenians in Turkey. State TV for ethnic groups is turning out to be just a bad idea. A real step forward would be to just grant people the right to run media themselves, in whatever language they wish.
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