Following the filming of a TV interview in Ankara on September 5, 2016 for the Deutsche Welle broadcast series “Conflict Zone” with Michel Friedman, the Turkish Minister of Youth and Sports, Akif Ça?atay K?l?ç, the video material was confiscated by Turkish authorities.
The Turkish ministry allowed a deadline set by Deutsche Welle for the return of the materials on the following afternoon to pass without the materials' return. Attorneys for Deutsche Welle thence set a second deadline for their return, which was ignored by Turkey. As a result, Deutsche Welle has filed suit at a court in Ankara.
Deutsche Welle's Director General, Peter Limbourg, condemned the Turkish authorities: “This is an event that has nothing to do with rule of law and democracy. We are now using legal methods to demand the prompt return of our video material.”
DW's Broadcasting Board met in Berlin on September 23, 2016, where they explicitly supported the filing of a suit for the return of the video material. Board Chairman Dr. Karl Jüsten said, “We advocate for unrestricted freedom of the press. Turkey is closely connected to Europe. Along with that comes respect for democratic foundational principles including press freedom. Comparable standards must be adhered to. It is deeply troubling that Deutsche Welle has been forced to file suit in court for the return of the video interview with the Turkish minister.”
The Broadcasting Board likewise welcomed the journalistic engagement that DW has shown in regards to Turkey as well as for Turkish speakers in Germany. The Board requested that DW be financially endowed accordingly in order to adequately fulfill their responsibilities as the provider of objective information in a politically significant region.
“We cannot accept what is happening in Turkey with regards to press freedom. DW is required to inform people in a comprehensive and objective way and to convey Germany's positions,” Jüsten said.
“Conflict Zone” is DW's most prominent political interview television show. The interviews that take place gain international attention – though most especially in the interview partner's country. The interviews in the political broadcast “Conflict Zone” in DW's English-language television program are confrontational. “Conflict Zone” is uncompromising as it strives for positions and authenticity. The moderators, Tim Sebastian and Michel Friedman, are unyielding in their approach to their guests.