Media freedoms and covert diplomacy: Turkey challenges Europe over Kurdish broadcasts

Christian Sinclair, Kevin Smets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Focusing on Kurdish television broadcasts in Europe, this article sheds light on how minority broadcasting interrelates with national and intergovernmental political agendas and issues of national security. Drawing from a thorough analysis of policy and diplomatic documents, press articles, academic literature and two expert interviews and focusing on three Kurdish TV channels in Europe, Med-TV, Medya-TV and Roj-TV, it describes how the contrast between Turkish and European media freedoms and minority rights has driven Kurdish broadcasting to develop in Europe, rather than in Turkey. It reveals how, in an effort to obstruct these broadcasting activities, Turkey's diplomatic undertakings have been able to sway opinions in several countries and get them to endorse more restrictive media policies. This study advances the understanding of minority broadcasting and the European Union (EU) media policies, but also highlights conflicting understandings of freedom of expression and media pluralism between Turkey and Europe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-331
Number of pages13
JournalGlobal Media and Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 27 2014


  • Democracy
  • European Union
  • Kurdish
  • Kurds
  • Roj-TV
  • Turkey
  • diplomacy
  • media freedom
  • media policy
  • minority rights

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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