Local broadcasting in a squeeze in Van

A local television channel in the quake-hit eastern province of Van continues its news broadcasts from a watchman’s hut as minor earthquakes continue to shake the region.

A local television channel in the quake-hit eastern province of Van continues its news broadcasts from a watchman’s hut as minor earthquakes continue to shake the region.

Although the headquarters of Merkur TV, located on the fourth floor of a building, were not damaged in the quakes, staff members were afraid to work inside the building, İsmail Topçuoğlu, editor-in-chief of the station, told the Anatolia news agency.

Two major quakes hit Van on Oct. 23 and Nov. 9, followed by hundreds of aftershocks, killing hundreds of people and damaging thousands of buildings.

“With the damage formed by the second major earthquake, our employees, like every other person in the city, are concerned,” Topçuoğlu said.

After editing and dubbing in the 20-sqaure-meter space, the Merkur TV staff have been uploading news to the computers at headquarters for broadcast, Topçuoğlu said, adding that they will use this method until the aftershocks were over and life returned to normal.

Topçuoğlu said he was worried about advertisements, which are known as the life fountain of the broadcasting sector. “Our real earthquake is just occurring,” he said while complaining about not knowing whether they could take advertisements in the forthcoming two years.

“There is Press Advertisement Institution, which protects local newspapers’ sustainability,” Topçuoğlu said. “They have been working for announcements at the press tent they made. I wished we had the same facility.”

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