Reuters reports on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s critical comments about CNN correspondent Ivan Watson, who was roughed up by Turkish security forces during a live report Saturday in Istanbul.
“The international media that came to Istanbul and made exaggerated, provocative calls were licking their paws,” Erdogan said in front of parliament today.
“One of them was that CNN flunky. He was caught red-handed. These people have nothing to do with a free, impartial, independent press. These people are literally executing their duties as agents,” Erdogan is quoted as saying.
After having his report interrupted by security, Watson says he was held for a half hour while security forces checked his identification. He had been reporting on the one year anniversary of the standoff and crackdown in Istanbul’s Gezi park.
“We stand unequivocally by our reporting from Turkey, which has been and continues to be fair, factual and impartial,” a CNN spokesperson tells TVNewser.