On the eve of the holy month Ramadan two Crimean Tatar channels, ATR and LALE will resume broadcasting as announced by Lenur Islyamov holder of the ATR Media group.
The channel will be accessible in all of Ukraine as well as the Crimean peninsula via the satellite Astra 4A. Broadcasts will be made in Crimean Tatar, Ukrainian, and Russian. ATR is the only Crimean Tatar television channel in the world and a major independent Ukrainian channel in Russian occupied Crimea.
ATR Channel had stopped broadcasting in early March, 2015. Officially it was because license renewal was denied. However according to Rafat Chubarov, Chairman of the Mejilis of the Crimean Tatar people and deputy of Ukraine, the real reason the channel was shut down is because “the Russian authorities are implementing a policy of suppression and displacement of the Crimean Tatars. The Russians are prepared to leave a scorched earth on the peninsula as long as it remains in their hands.” Before being shut down the TV channel had 4.5 million viewers.
The ATR TV team was forced to leave the Crimea and to set up shop in Kyiv. Many of the employees stayed behind but for them like for all the Crimean Tatars the resumption of ATR broadcasting signifies unity and inspires the hope that the culture, traditions and identity of the Crimean Tatars will survive.
EMPR, O. R. contributed to this publication
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