Zarok TV to broadcast to children in 3 Kurdish dialects
DİYARBAKIR (DİHA) – The first Kurdish-language children's channel, will hit the airwaves on Newroz, March 21st. The channel will be the first children's channel ever to broadcast in the threatened Kurdish dialect of Kirmanjki (also known as Zazaki).
Children's programming in children's native language may be a given in many parts of the world, but not in Kurdistan. Zarok TV, broadcasting out of Diyarbakır, aims to change that by providing children with programming in the Kurmanji, Kirmanjkiand Sorani dialects of Kurdish. According to UNESCO's Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger, Kirmanjki is one of 18 languages or dialects in Turkey categorized as "definitely endangered." Longstanding Turkish state politics have dealt serious blows to Kirmanjki. Zarok TV say that children's programming will "play a historic role in enlivening and developing this dialect."
The channel has been under preparation for a long time, say Zarok TV employees in Diyarbakır. They have chosen this Kurdish New Year as the day to launch the channel, which they say aims "to create a world of knowledge for children in their own languages." The channel will broadcast over the Türksat satellite network. "Children will find that they can discover the world through their own native languages on Zarok TV—exploring the universe around them and finding the answers to all their questions about it from their own homes," said the channel's broadcasting board in a statement.
The new channel will dub a number of popular children's cartoons in all three dialects—including "The Smurfs", "Sponge bob square pants", "Gumball", and "Adventure Time." Original programming will including "Zarokistan" ("Children's Land"), a program about the historical and cultural characteristics of Kurdistan; "Dora Te" (Your Turn), in which children will teach viewers about topics from geography to history to philosophy; and "Hunerên Destan" (Art of Handicrafts), showing children how to make crafts step-by-step.
The Zarok TV broadcasting board say they aim to provide programming that is entertaining, educational and sparks children's curiosity. The television channel which broadcasts on the Türksat satellite network can be tuned in with the following settings: