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Turkish state TV preps new channel

Arabic-language network to launch

LONDON — Turkish state TV is getting ready to launch an Arabic-language channel later this year, according to the country’s premier, Tayyip Erdogan.

The channel will be operated by the state-run Turkish Radio and TV Corp.

The U.S., Iran and the U.K. have all launched their own Arabic-language channels in recent years in an attempt to gain a foothold in the Arab market for commercial and political purposes.

Turkey’s state org also launched a Kurdish-language radio service on March 1 in a further sign of the Turkish government’s efforts to reach out to its country’s sizable Kurdish population.

In January, the state media org launched a 24-hour Kurdish-language TV channel, with Erdogan recording a welcome message in Kurdish.

For many years, Turkish Kurds were forbidden from speaking Kurdish at official functions. The ruling AK party has attempted to mend relations with Turkey’s Kurdish citizens, who make up a fifth of the country’s population.

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