Well, the detainment of Ivan Watson was just the aperitif for the anniversary of the Taksim Square protests. At the site of last year's protests, as many as 25,000 policemen amassed to enforce a ban on demonstrations at the square, which set off sustained protests in which thousands were injured and a number of people were killed.
This time around, hundreds of demonstrators attempted to march on the square despite the ban and were met by police who used water cannons and tear gas to clear the crowds. Here's a (n unpleasant) video of the happenings from AFP:
During an on-air CNN report about how Turkey was stifling dissent on the one-year anniversary of the Taksim Square protests in Istanbul, Turkey proved its point by detaining reporter Ivan Watson in the middle of a broadcast.
Watch the video here:
The Taksim Square protests kicked off what has been a particularly difficult year for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Elected in 2003, Erdogan has faced unprecedented protests against his rule, the volume of which increased dramatically last crowds gathered last year to demonstrate against plans to develop Istanbul's last public park.
Support for Erdogan has waned as his administration continues to be plagued by corruption allegations. After corruption was first exposed by Twitter, the Turkish government responded by banning the social media network and arrested dozens of users. Erdogan has also reshuffled his cabinet.
The crackdown we seem to be witnessing today could been seen as evidence that Erdogan is nervous, especially on the anniversary of last year's galvanizing protests.
Following his detainment, Watson later took to Twitter to explain what happened in the aftermath.
Turkish police released CNN team after half an hour. Officer apologized for another officer who kneed me while I was being detained. 1/2— Ivan Watson (@IvanCNN) May 31, 2014
Turkish police officer wasn't satisfied w/my press card from prime ministry. "Many are counterfeited," he said, demanding passport 2/2— Ivan Watson (@IvanCNN) May 31, 2014
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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