Istanbul correspondent detained while on air as Turkey remains starkly divided+ READ ARTICLE
A CNN reporter was detained in Turkey Saturday while filming a live news report on demonstrations marking the one-year anniversary of the Taksim Square protests.
Ivan Watson, the news channel’s correspondent in Istanbul, was in Taksim Square when he was approached by police officers and asked to show his passport. Watson displayed his press card to the police and the still-rolling camera before being pulled away by officers.
“Just a minute, just a minute, may I see your passport please,” a man asks Watson.
“We’re being detained right now,” Watson can be heard saying before the camera cuts out. “I’m being kicked.”
Turkish police detained me and my crew in the middle of a live report in Taksim Square. One officer kneed me in the butt.—
Ivan Watson (@IvanCNN) May 31, 2014
Watson said on Twitter that he had been released after less than an hour and that the police apologized for kneeing him.
Turkey is struggling with deep ideological divides and questions about free speech in the year since the Taksim Square protests. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party won recent elections, but many Turks remain deeply divided about his leadership after his response to a recent fatal mining incident in which hundreds were killed and his attempts to block Twitter after it was used to spread reports of corruption in his government.
Erdogan said Saturday that police would not permit demonstrations in Taksim Square on the one-year anniversary of the protests, reports Turkish news outlet Hurriyet. Nearly a dozen people across Turkey were killed last year during protests against what demonstrators said was the government’s increasingly authoritarian rule.