Turkey Arrests Two Canadian Journalists
Canadian CBC News reports that two of their journalists Sasa Petricic and Derek Stoffel were detained by Turkish police on Wednesday, while covering the ongoing protests in Istanbul.
Sasa Petricic has posted a tweet at around 6 p.m. local time on Wednesday that read: “Arrested.”
Derek Stoffel’s last message on the social networking site included a photo of heavy machinery clearing out barricades erected by protesters near Istanbul’s Taksim Square.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has expressed his concern about the well-being of the journalists to Turkey’s ambassador to Canada.
CBC made contact with them and says the journalists are all right for now, but still remain in custody.
After the incident on Wednesday, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) released a statement saying it was
“becoming increasingly concerned about the dangerous climate for journalists covering Turkey’s protest movement.”
In January, the RWB described Turkey as “the world’s biggest prison for journalists” and ranked the country 154th in its 2013 Press Freedom Index.
Taksim Square has become a focal point for recent anti-government protests, in what started as a small scale, peaceful sit-in protest against the demolishing of a historic public park in Istanbul, shaping up as one of the biggest challenges to the 10-year rule of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Demonstrators say Erdogan is becoming more autocratic and trying to impose religious views on the country. The protests escalated into some of the worst scenes of public disorder and police violence seen in the country in recent years.
Photo credit: CBC News, CBC correspondents Sasa Petricic, left, and Derek Stoffel have been detained by police in Turkey amid ongoing protests in the country. (Eric Foss/CBC)