TRT Şeş (TRT 6) has been broadcasting for almost one year, having gone live on 01 January 2009. TRT Şeş coordinator Fethullah Kırşan says that 2010 will bring new productions, ventures, and a modified logo.
Kırşan has been involved with TRT Şeş from the beginning and became the top coordinator two-and-a-half months ago. Speaking to Today’s Zaman he said that when the channel was first established, it went through rocky times. Many of its employees were novices to the field and it was difficult to find artists, voiceover artists and presenters who spoke Kurdish.
Right now there are around 60 Kurdish presenters, voiceover artists and dubbing professionals living in Istanbul and working at various production firms. This new sector is constantly discovering successful Kurdish speakers in this field for the production of programmes to be aired on TRT Şeş, creating a slew of films and series with better and better translation and production quality.
Technical difficulties were also a part of the channel’s initial broadcast experience, Kırşan said, expounding upon the changes planned for 2010. Currently on TRT Şeş, news bulletins are shot two to three hours before they are aired, leaving plenty of time for takes and retakes. In store for 2010 are live news broadcasts. There will be four news bulletins aired daily, in both Kurmancî and Zaza.
In 2009 the channel aired dubbed re-runs of films and shows. Now, says Kırşan, they will have specially produced series, music programmes and other shows. Programming will be fresh due to production competitions and viewers will see an increase in the range and quality of programming on the channel.
Kırşan said the difficulty the channel experienced in attracting advertisers would also be solved in 2010. He explained that the station’s colourful new array of programming would increase the number of firms wanting to advertise on the channel as its popularity increases.
Commenting on the channel’s popularity, Kırşan noted that no professional survey had yet been conducted on audience numbers, but said they receive a great deal of positive feedback from the public (Take our poll below). Other positive indicators include high participation in interactive shows in terms of phone calls, SMS messages and e-mails, with all phone lines filling rapidly during call-in segments of shows.
Kırşan said he closely follows other Kurdish-language channels such as Roj TV, Kurdistan TV, and others, and welcomed the Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council’s (RTÜK) decision to allow private channels to broadcast in Kurdish 24 hours a day. He explained that TRT Şeş isn’t threatened by those channels, noting that it would result in good-spirited rivalry and an atmosphere of competition.
TRT6 became possible in June 2008 after Turkish President Abdullah Gül signed into law the bill that opened the way for TRT to allocate a TV channel for non-Turkish mother tongues. The new ‘Law About Making A Change Regarding the Law of Turkish Radio and Television and the Law of the Founding of Televisions and Their Broadcasting’ was then negotiated between the government and RTÜK in order to pave the way for TRT to add a Kurdish channel.
The permission for broadcasting and publishing in different languages in local and national media was originally granted in January 2004 when the ‘Regulation About Radio And Television Broadcasting In Different Languages And Dialects That The Turkish Citizens Are Using Traditionally In Their Daily Lives’ was published in the Official Gazette.
Aydin, Aslihan. TRT Şeş to undergo comprehensive overhaul. Today’s Zaman, 26 December 2009.
Kurdish TV Channel becomes possible on paper. Bianet, 28 June 2008.