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Radio station cancels show after Turkey’s ex-prime minister is interviewed

The former prime minister has been openly critical of Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

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A radio show by journalists Yavuz Oghan, Akif Beki and Ismail Saymaz was canceled by Radyo Sputnik a day after they interviewed former prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu on YouTube, the T24 news portal reported on Friday.

Together with co-hosts Beki and Saymaz, the program’s host Oghan on Thursday interviewed Davutoglu, who was once a close adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan but is now planning to launch a rival party to challenge him.

Radyo Sputnik canceled the program a day after the journalists’ interview with Davutoglu was aired on YouTube.

The former prime minister has been openly critical of Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“No good deed goes unpunished in Turkey,” Oghan said on Friday via his Twitter account in reference to the incident.

“We interviewed Davutoglu yesterday, and our program was canceled today, even though we did it on our private YouTube channel,” he said.

Reacting to the issue, also on Twitter, Davutoglu said he was very sad to hear that the three journalists’ radio program was called off in wake of the interview they conducted with him.

“They were only doing journalism. There is no explanation for this decision [to cancel their radio program]. Even if they close all the doors, we’ll open a new one and we won’t be silent,” the former PM vowed.

Journalist Zafer Arapkirli, who hosted a daily morning show on Radyo Sputnik, also quit his job at the station following the incident with his colleagues.

“I would also like to announce that we have parted ways with the @rsfm978 [Radyo Sputnik]. There are plenty of channels for those who want to do journalism-broadcasting freely and with honor. See you there,” the journalist stated later on Friday.

Less than an hour before his resignation, Arapkirli described the cancellation of his colleagues’ program as the “manifestation of the loss of free and thus real journalism.”

Speaking to T24, Arapkirli underlined that he quit his job at the station after his manager told him that they were “changing the format of his program.”

“The content of my program has always been critical [of the government.] They [the managers] were frequently expressing their uneasiness with it. I was not surprised [to find out that they wanted to change its format,]” the journalist explained.

Davutoglu’s efforts to establish a new political formation came to light in April, when he released a 15-page statement criticizing AKP’s policy choices for the poor standing in local elections at the end of March and for the looming economic crisis.

Erdogan’s AKP government lost a number of major cities, including the capital Ankara and business center Istanbul, on March 31 local polls, making it one of its biggest electoral defeats since coming to power in 2002.

Source: ipa

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