Turkish Radio Program Receives Warning

ISTANBUL (Marmara)–The Turkish radio and television council has issued a warning to "Acik Radio" for its October 16 special program on Armenian culture hosted by singer Muammer Ketencioglu. The council considers Ketencioglu’s program a dangerous step taken toward damaging the country’s unity–and warned similar programs might foster hatred between Turkish citizens.

The program’s topics included Armenian music–geography–and a segment on the Daron region. Ketencioglu insisted on using the old name Daron to describe the area containing the cities of Sassoun and Moush. The host mentioned the fact that this was the historic name of the province and that it is not right to refer to just Moush or Sassoun alone without referring to the province as a whole. Ketencioglu went on to say that the original inhabitants of Daron–who moved to Armenia after 1915–retained their original and particular image without mixing with the local population–and established settlemen’s based on Sassoun and Moush. He claimed these descendants of Daron have preserved their folkloric traditions and have composed various songs in the past 30 to 40 years on life in Sassoun and Moush without even seeing these cities in their lifetimes. Rather the lyrics are based on the collective memory of their ancestors who fled Daron.

The council further warned "Acik Radio" of other measures to be taken in the future if similar programs are aired. These measures include a one year suspension and even the permanent removal of the radio show from its regular time slot.

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