Turkey seized Minister’s interview tape from Deutsche Welle

Turkey seized Minister’s interview tape from Deutsche WelleTurkish government have confiscated a tape with an interview of Turkish minister of youth and sports, Akif Cagatay Kilic, wich was filmed for Deutsche Welle’s talk show "Conflict Zone."

The interview, hosted by DW’s Michel Friedman, took place in Ankara on Monday evening.

The reporter asked Akif Cagatay Kilic questions about July's attempted coup, mass layoffs and arrests that followed the failed putsch, and the media situation and the position of women in Turkey. Further Friedman also asked Kilic to explain several statements made by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarding these subjects.

But after the Minister left the room, his press officer announced that DW would not be allowed to broadcast the interview. Friedman and his camera crew were not allowed to leave the Ministry for Youth and Sport until they turned over the video tape.

Ubeydullah Yener, the minister's press officer, in a statement for DW's Turkish language department on Tuesday said that there was no authorization for the interview and the reported asked questions that were not agreed ahead of footage.

"Mr. Friedman himself knows exactly why this happened. Some statements were right out allegations. In such a situation, there was no authorization granted," Yener said.

In his defense, Friedman said journalists should not ask “questions that politicians like.”

"This is proof that freedom of the press in Turkey is very restricted. The incident is very disturbing. If the foreign media is already been treated in this manner, one could well imagine how difficult it is right now for Turkish journalists," Friedman said.

DW Director General Peter Limbourg on Tuesday condemned the Turkish authorities’ actions: "This incident is proof of a blatant violation of press freedom in Turkey."

"It cannot be that a minister willingly responds to an interview and then tries to block the transmission in such a manner just because he did not like the questions posed," Limbourg said in a statement.

The news about seized footage has already caused an outcry on social media over Turkey's restrictions on press freedom.
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