German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle is trying to get the Turkish government to explain why one of its ministers sat for a half hour interview this week, only for the recording to be confiscated moments after the session ended.
Turkish Youth and Sports Minister Akif Cagatay Kilic spoke to reporters from Deutsche Welle's Conflict Zone show on Monday night. According to the broadcaster, the interview touched on the attempted coup in July as well as questions about media and women's rights in Turkey.
According to the journalists, the crew was told that the interview could not be broadcast after the interview ended and Kilic had left the room. All recordings were then confiscated by ministry personnel.
"During this, it was made clear to the Deutsche Welle team that they would not be leaving the ministry in possession of this footage," Deutsche Welle said in a statement Tuesday.
Deutsche Welle has petitioned the Turkish government for the footage to be returned. There has been no official comment from the government.
The German Embassy in Ankara has also been contacted.
"What we're seeing here is akin to coercion by the Turkish leadership. This no longer has anything to do with rule of law or democracy," said Deutsche Welle director general Peter Limbourg.
He also argued that it was unacceptable for a minister to sit for an interview and then prevent its broadcast "because he didn't like the questions."