Roj TV-PKK revelations spark concern in Denmark

Roj TV-PKK revelations spark concern in Denmark

In photos published by Berlingske Tidende, former Roj TV director Manouchehr Zonoozi is seen side-by-side with Kurdistan Workers’ Party leader Murat Karayılan.

May 26, 2010, Wednesday/ 16:27:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN
A recent interview with a former director of Roj TV published in a Danish daily has created unease in Denmark, with political parties in parliament pressuring the Danish justice minister to respond to claims about clear links between the television station and a terrorist organization.Manouchehr Zonoozi recently told Berlingske Tidende that financial assistance flows to Roj TV from the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The former director said he witnessed 16 million euros being transferred to the station from the PKK. Berlingske Tidende also published photos of top officials from Roj TV on a secret visit to PKK training camps. In the photos, Zonoozi is seen side-by-side with Murat Karayılan, the leader of the PKK.

Roj TV, which Turkey has long said is a mouthpiece for the outlawed PKK, continues to broadcast with a Danish license.

The revelations fomented unease in Denmark. Political parties in Denmark’s parliament asked Justice Minister Lars Barfoed to make a statement on the suspected links between Roj TV and the PKK. The minister, however, declined to make a detailed statement on the issue.

Peter Skaarup, the vice chairman of the Danish People’s Party, said Zonoozi’s revelations clearly indicate the connections between the television station and the terrorist organization. “The justice minister should inform political parties regardless of the outcomes of such information,” he remarked.

Karen Hækkerup, legal spokeswoman for the Social Democrats, accused the Danish police of ignoring Zonoozi’s offers to give testimony against Roj TV. Berlingske Tidende quoted the former director as saying that he told police several times that he wanted to testify against Roj TV. “But they [the police] ignored my calls. I am tired of waiting. I cannot stand the lies about Roj TV,” Zonoozi stated.

Zonoozi: PKK harbors 3,000 child fighters

Berlingske Tidende also reported on Monday that Zonoozi had provided photographs of child terrorists trained by the PKK to the daily.

According to Berlingske Tidende, the PKK is thought to harbor around 3,000 young terrorists. “The youngest child I saw at the PKK training camps was 8 or 9 years old. He was being trained there. They were taught the life story of Abdullah Öcalan [the jailed leader of the terrorist organization]. They were also taught how to use weapons and explosives,” the daily quoted Zonoozi as saying.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Denmark representative, Steen Andersen, announced that the fund has decided to send observers to the PKK camps in northern Iraq to see whether the organization is really harboring children. Andersen also said it is forbidden worldwide to use children as soldiers or fighters.

“We will immediately inform UNICEF representatives in Turkey and Iraq about the [Zonoozi] claims. We will send observers to the region to see whether they reflect the truth,” he added.

Turkey submitted several applications for the closure of Roj TV back in June 2006, alleging that the station incited violence and spread racism. But all of them were rejected, and the station has been allowed to continue broadcasting.


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