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Turkey Eases Restrictions on Kurdish Language Broadcasts

Turkey says local television stations will be permitted to broadcast programming in Kurdish beginning next month.

Speaking Wednesday, the head of Turkey's broadcasting watchdog Zahid Akman said stations that have completed applications can begin Kurdish-language broadcasting at the end of January.

Turkey, which is seeking membership of the European Union, changed its laws in 2002, and state-run television has since carried broadcasts in two Kurdish dialects for 30 minutes each week.

However, local broadcasters had until now been stymied by bureaucratic regulations. Turkish media say some stations have complained that under the new regulations, Kurdish broadcasts will still be limited to 45 minutes a day.

Turkey is under intense European pressure to grant greater cultural rights to Kurds. The country started EU membership talks earlier this year.

Some information for this report provided by AP.