PM to win Kurdish hearts and minds

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PM to win Kurdish hearts and minds
Oluşturulma Tarihi: Aralık 31, 2008 00:00

ANKARA - PM Erdoğan will speak in Kurdish on the new Kurdish channel of the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation, or TRT, due to start broadcasting Jan. 1. PM’s speech ends with ’TRT Şeş bi xw?r be' (Let TRT 6 be beneficial)

A prime minister is going to speak Kurdish on television for the first time in Turkey. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan recorded his message to be broadcast on TRT 6 in Turkish and then in Kurdish said, "TRT Şeş bi xw?r be" (Let TRT 6 be beneficial).

TRT 6, one of the first democratic moves from the government toward a solution to the Kurdish problem, will broadcast 24 hours a day after the official opening tomorrow. TRT has prepared a special program for the opening in which Erdoğan’s message will be included. Erdoğan’s message is based on the themes of unity and togetherness, that the state does not discriminate against citizens on the basis of ethnic roots and treats everybody as equals. Prime Minister Erdoğan spoke about the recent developments in democratization in Turkey, stating that TRT 6 was one of them. TRT will reportedly broadcast Erdoğan’s two-minute message with a Kurdish voiceover.

Erdoğan’s message to break a taboo
Erdoğan is going to break yet another taboo with this message. The Kurdish language, that has faced serious stonewalling in Turkey for years, was under the spotlight last week with an event in Parliament. Hasip Kaplan, deputy of the Democratic Society Party, or DTP, said he expected an apology over the transcription in parliamentary records of Kurdish words he uses in speeches as "unknown language" or just dots. After this statement, Parliament Speaker Köksal Toptan said,"That is not nice. They could have written ’a language other than Turkish.’"

For the opening program, there will be interviews with President Abdullah Gül, politicians and academics. The opening will be at the Arı Studios of TRT in Ankara on Thursday at 7 p.m. with concerts by Rojin and Nilüfer Akbal.
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