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Kazakhstan mulls minority-oriented TV channel

09 august 2014, 16:39
TV media monitoring room. © Yaroslav Radlovsky
TV media monitoring room. © Yaroslav Radlovsky

A new ethnic minority-oriented nition-wide channel may be launched in Kazakhstan next year, Tengrinews reports citing Express-K newspaper

The main idea of the channel is to promote friendship and solidarity between different nationalities living in Kazakhstan. The idea was suggested by the Association of Tatars and Bashkirs in Kazakhstan. The Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, the state institution dedicated to promotion and harmonization of interethnic relations in Kazakhstan, supported it. 

It is planned to name the channel Birlik, which means Unity in Kazakh, and launch it on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Assembly next year.

Representatives of ethnic cultural groups believe that Kazakhstanis know very little about each other. "There was a time when we could see the TV channels of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkey and Armenia. It was interesting to learn and understand the culture of our neighbours," the executive director of the Association of Tatars and Bashkirs of Kazakhstan Rinat Abdulhalikov said. "Now we have BBC, CNN and Deutsche Welle dominating our cable TV packages. But they are global monsters and their ethical and supraethnic values are alien to us," he said.

"Here in Kazakhstan we uphold our multinational identity and manifest tolerance. But are these values well-rooted in the TV content? Is there a place for projects in Hebrew, Ukrainian, Uighur, German languages on TV? Why don't we create a new state-run TV channel focused on demonstrating the multinational culture of Kazakhstan. Many nations have outstanding people that originated from Kazakhstan. Take the Tatars for example, Latif Hamidi, Guinan Kurmashev and manny others were from Kazakhstan. (...) Every ethnic group will be happy to present their culture," Rinat Abdulhalikov said.

Kazakhstan is widely recognized for its efforts to ensure inter-ethnic and cross-confessional peace and accord. Kazakhstan is a home to over 130 different nationalities and more than 100 ethnic groups.

Writing by Assel Satubaldina, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina

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