Roj TV’s head says it won’t be shut down

08 Nisan 2009 - 00:00Son Güncelleme : 07 Nisan 2009 - 18:40

COPENHAGEN - The head of the Denmark-based Kurdish television station Roj TV, which Turkey is pressuring the European country to close down, insisted Monday that Ankara would not get its way. "We won’t be shut down because of Turkey’s demands," Yılmaz İmdat, the head of Roj TV, told AFP. "It’s not Turkey that decides in Denmark."

Turkey had initially opposed the appointment of Denmark’s Anders Fogh Rasmussen as secretary-general of NATO because Copenhagen has refused to act on Ankara’s request to close the station. Ankara considers Roj TV to be a mouthpiece of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.

Station head İmdat denied that Roj TV, which broadcasts out of Denmark but has its main offices in Belgium, has any links to the PKK. "Those are accusations from the Turkish side," he said. "We live in democratic countries that respect freedom of expression and freedom of the press. You can’t close a television or radio station because you don’t like them, like Turkey does."

A police inquiry into Roj TV was opened in 2005 and is still ongoing, Danish prosecutor Liselott Nilas told AFP. "It is an ongoing investigation, so we’re not in a position to say anything about where the investigation is going," Nilas said. Asked whether police had come under any political pressure to step up the investigation following the Turkish reports of Rasmussen’s concessions, she said: "No. Clearly the answer is no. The investigation is up to us. It is up to us to reach a decision."

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