Turkey campaigns to close Swedish Kurdish-speaking channel

Turkey campaigns to close Swedish Kurdish-speaking channel


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Turkey is pressing Swedish authorities to close down a Kurdish TV channel, Newroz, based in Sweden.

Newroz streams both news and entertainment content in Kurdish and Farsi across Europe.

The Turkish Broadcasting Authority claims Newroz supports terrorist activity and racism, thereby breaking a European convention on cross-border broadcasts. The Swedish broadcasting authority has responded that Newroz is a Swedish channel, and Sweden is not a party to the convention evoked by the Turkish authority.

The Swedish foreign minister, Margot Wallström, and the minister for democracy and culture, Alice Bah Kuhnke, have not commented on Turkey’s demands.

Since the attempted coup on July 15, a number of Kurdish-language channels broadcasting from Turkey have been closed down.

The Swedish Liberal and Left Party opposition are demanding that the Turkish Ambassador is invited to explain why Turkey is interfering on what TV channels can broadcast in and from Sweden. The Swedish foreign minister has yet to respond to the opposition.

Meanwhile, the French satellite operator Eutelsat has already dropped the Swedish Newroz Channel.  Eutelsat facilitated broadcasting in the rest of Europe and parts of Asia. The French satellite operator also dropped a Kurdish channel broadcasting from Belgium.

Newroz is planning to take Eutelsat to court in France.

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