Dom Research Center   News Clippings: Turkey

Roma Demand Broadcast of Programs
in Romani Language on State Run Television

Turkish Press, June 22, 2004

EDIRNE (CIHAN) - Roma ("Gypsies") living in Edirne, demanded the broadcasting of programs in the Romani language on the state run Turkish State Radio Television Broadcaster (TRT) after the TRT began broadcasting programs in five non-Turkish languages in June.

The TRT began to broadcast in non-Turkish languages in the first week of June. The TRT broadcasts TV programs in the Bosnian language on Monday, Arabic programs on Tuesday, Kurmanji (a dialect of Kurdish) on Wednesday, Circassian on Thursday, and Zaza (a dialect of Kurdish) on Friday.

The EU sees the issue of broadcasting in different languages and dialects as a crucial test for the implementation of Turkey's EU-inspired harmonization reforms, which have been legislated with a view to boosting Turkey's EU membership bid.

The chairman of Edirne Roma Foundation, Fikri Ocak said that Romani language and culture are fading away in Turkey and added, "If we are citizens of Turkey, we demand the broadcasting of programs in the Romani language on TRT to transfer our culture to the next generation."

Vedat Zimba of the Roma Foundation said that Roma never wanted to be excluded from society and added that they only want to live with their own culture and language.


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