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Radio station closed indefinitely as court affirms broadcasting council's revocation of licence

(BIANET/IFEX) - According to representatives of the radio station Anatolia's Voice, which started broadcasting in 1999, the administrative court in Ankara has not reversed the decision of the Supreme Council of Radio and Television (RTUK) to revoke the station's broadcasting license. The radio station says that the court has affirmed RTUK's decision, and has ignored the financial losses of the station arising from the closure.

In the statement by the radio station, it was said that "the court has chosen to affirm a decision by RTUK, which is known for its unjust, biased and anti-democratic decisions. RTUK allows a lot of degenerate, insulting broadcasts, but the life of dissident radio stations is made difficult. RTUK cannot bear to hear alternative voices, and sets random limits to democracy and freedom." The radio station was closed indefinitely on 9 February 2007.

In 2006, RTUK had initially decided to close Anatolia's Voice for 30 days because of broadcasts from 2003. A song by Ahmet Kaya, a deceased singer who had been outspoken about Kurdish language rights, a broadcast related to the Kurdish issue, comments on a prison intervention to stop hunger strikes, and critical remarks about the then Minister of Justice, Hikmet Sami Turk, were all given as "justification" for the closure.

Anatolia's Voice was closed for a total of three months between 2000 and 2001, and members of the management board have faced numerous trials. After each closure by RTUK, the station was taken to court for "spreading propaganda of an illegal organisation" and "inciting hatred".

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