DW interview with Turkish youth minister seized by ministry
DW photoThe record of an interview with Turkish Youth and Sports Minister Akif Çağatay Kılıç that was slated to be published for a program on Deutsche Welle (DW) has been seized by ministry officials after the interview was completed.
Meeting with DW’s Conflict Zone host, Michel Friedman, at the ministry’s building in Ankara on Sept. 5, Kılıç responded to the questions asked on topics related to recent developments in Turkey such as the coup attempt of July 15, the widespread round-ups that have occurred in its aftermath, the situation of the Turkish press and the place of women in Turkish society. Kılıç was also asked to clarify President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s remarks made on these issues.
Despite the fact that the ministry was previously informed about the questions and the two sides amicably bid farewell to each other at the conclusion of the interview, the DW team was told during their exit that they could not publish the interview, although no justification was provided for the demand.
Friedman and his team protested the decision, which reportedly came at Kılıç’s directive, but ministry officials reiterated that the DW team could not leave the premises without handing over the recording.
DW General Director Peter Limbourg harshly criticized the act and said: “This is a clear violation of freedom of press in Turkey once again. What was done here was compulsion by the Turkish government. This does not have anything to do with the state of law and principles of democracy. It is not acceptable for a minister to give an interview on his own consent and then attempt to prevent its publication just because he did not like the questions. We demand the Turkish side quickly return our recording and are exploring legal steps that can be taken.”