Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been having a hard time suppressing social media and other means of broadcasting his government’s excesses in cracking down on protests from disgruntled citizens in Turkey. (See additional reporting on attempts to block YouTube here.)
Under Erdogan, Turkey has become the leading jailer of journalists worldwide, surpassing even such garden spots as Sudan and Iran.
And when the government doesn’t imprison journalists outright, it still gets them fired, as it did with more than 20 reporters after the Gezi Park protests in 2013.
A CNN reporter, Ivan Watson, ran afoul of the Turkish police during a demonstration this weekend in Taksim Square in Istanbul, and the onset of the encounter was captured on camera. The UK Independent provides this brief transcript:
In the video, Watson shows his press card to the men and the cameras but is then asked for further proof of identification. The camera is briefly pushed to the floor as police question him.
“Just a minute, just a minute, may I see your passport please,” a man can be heard asking Watson, before he is filmed being forcibly dragged away by a group of men.
“We’re being detained right now,” Watson replies before the camera cuts out. “I’m being kicked.”
Watson and his team were released about half an hour later. Video below. The tone of public life in Turkey doesn’t appear to be improving.