Journalist Demiralp: Eutelsat officials could be put on trial

Journalist Maxime Demiralp said: “Eutelsat could be put on trial for the practices the Kurdish media are subjected to.”

As French satellite company Eutelsat’s threat to shut down Stêrk TV, News Channel and Ronahi TV which broadcast over satellite from Europe continues, protests from Kurdish media continue to rise. Journalist Maxime Demiralp said the events were scandalous and that “Eutelsat is committing a crime with their compliance with Turkey and thus the administrators of the company can be put on trial.”



Journalist Maxime Demiralp stated that Eutelsat’s decision is against press freedom and freedom of expression and added: “This decision is a blow to press freedom. And beyond that, there is this complicity with a country exposed to the whole world, which is among the worst in the world when it comes to freedom of expression and defined by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe as an underdeveloped democracy. This is based on a commercial alliance. It is a dirty alliance. In normal democracies, complicity with an oppressive regime and a regime defined as dictatorial itself would be grounds for a trial. In the current situation, Eutelsat is not only in violation with this decision against the Kurdish media, but they are also committing a crime with this violation. They are committing a crime for complicity with this regime. Recently, a French cement company in Syria was put on trial for indirect collaboration with ISIS. Similarly, Eutelsat’s collaboration with Turkey should be handled. Because it is a heavy crime. If Eutelsat thinks they can steer clear of this, with support from France or some administrations in France, that won’t happen. The balance will change. One day these administrators can face trials for crimes they committed. Eutelsat can face trial for the practices the Kurdish media has been subjected to.”


Demiralp stated that Turkey is going back every year in regards to press freedom and freedom of expression and protested Western institutions, saying: “Despite all these, if the West doesn’t speak out, that shows that democracy is also in regression. Because this isn’t just an issue about the Kurds. This is an issue of democracy in general. Democracy is in regression throughout the world, as apparent in the West. We can see this very clearly by the company Eutelsat.”

Demiralp stated that Eutelsat has serious relationships with Turkey and said: “This company has serious alliances. The military and police communications infrastructure is done by this company. The Kurdish media is sacrificed to this. That is the financial side of things. The political side is that the states are silent in the face of this dirty alliance. This silence shows the political side of things.”

Demiralp mentioned that Eutelsat was convicted in the Med Nuçe and Newroz TV cases last year and said: “This case was heard in the Paris Commercial Court. The court found Eutelsat in the wrong and convicted them to pay compensation. Despite all this, they continue their practices. Where is this coming from? Where do they get this strength? The government itself had in fact criticized this. At a time when pressure on the media was most intense. And Europe is silent in the face of this. Europe criticizes Turkey for many issues, but they are silent in the face of practices against Kurdish media. And this shows that there is a collaboration between Turkey and Europe in many areas. Freedom of press has turned into commercial relationships. Whoever has the more money can make the others their victim.” Demiralp stated that the French state is a partner to Eutelsat and has collaborated with Turkey on sanctions against Kurdish media before, and accused France of staying silent against AKP in particular in this period.


Demiralp said Ronahi TV is the voice of those who fight against ISIS in Rojava and continued: “This decision by Eutelsat is a conflict for the forces fighting against ISIS, and on top of that list is France. Because France is a country trying to be active in the political and military sense in Syria and come to the fore. France is one of the countries that have suffered the most by ISIS attacks, and for that France should have been the one to understand the Kurds. Turkey is attacking Rojava under any circumstances. The demand to shut down Ronahi Tv is an example of this.”

Journalist Maxime Demiralp stated that this decision should be fought in all aspects and stressed the following: “Media institutions, unions and parliamentarians had protested the attack last year. This mechanism can be put to use even stronger. This struggle should be expanded in the international and national levels. The pressure should be upped so the Western politicians and governments don’t stay silent. And the basic method for this is social demonstrations. Because the media is the workers’ problem. These televisions are the voice of the people. If this decision can’t be overcome with the mechanism of international institutions, then there should be social pressure.”