CNN crew 'detained' by riot police in Taksim Square
Turkish riot police had allegedly detain CNN's İstanbul correspondent Ivan Watson and his crew in the middle of a live report in Taksim Square on the first anniversary of Gezi protests.

"Turkish police detained me and my crew in the middle of a live report in Taksim Square. One officer kneed me in the butt," Watson said in his tweet. However, there were reports that the CNN crew were not formally detained but prevented from going on air.

Today is May 31, the first anniversary of the anti-government protests that lasted more than a month last year in every city of Turkey, which started initially as a sit-in protest against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's plan to build a shopping mall on Gezi Park in İstanbul, and the tension that occurred during the protests remains in place, if not stronger.

Seven people died during the protests, most of them due to police violence. Prime Minister Erdoğan, the head of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, which attributed the Gezi demonstrations to foreign powers working against Turkey's development, praised the police force's handling of the protesters, saying the police had achieved a "heroic" success. Police brutality against the Gezi protesters was criticized by human rights groups and major civil society organizations both domestically and internationally.

Officials announced this week that 25,000 police officers will be deployed in Taksim Square, home to Gezi Park, and some 50 water cannon trucks will be dispatched to the area to ensure protesters do not reach the site on the anniversary of the Gezi protests, which its participants often refer to as "the resistance." (Cihan/Today's Zaman)
Last Modified: 2014-05-31 15:00:01
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