CBC reporter detained in Taksim: It’s a first in my career

CBC reporter detained in Taksim: It’s a first in my career

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
CBC reporter detained in Taksim: It’s a first in my career

Canadian broadcaster CBC’s Middle East reporter detained in Istanbul.

Canadian public broadcaster CBC’s Middle East correspondent, Sasa Petricic, who was detained in Turkey while covering the unrest in Istanbul, said it’s a first in his career to face police intervention in his reporting.

“Arrested,” Petricic’s last tweet read on June 12. Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird’s tweet followed it saying, “Just got off the phone with the Turkish ambassador and expressed concern over reports of a CBC journalist detained in Istanbul.” 

Petricic and his colleague Derek Stoffel were detained and released a few hours after being taken into custody.

“It was the very first time I ever was arrested or detained and there was nothing particularly violent or difficult about it. 

The officers were quite polite, but there was clearly no particular reason here. That was so simple, in any democratic country you don’t have a problem while taking a photo,” Petricic told the Hürriyet Daily News today in a phone interview. 

Detained while taking pictures

Petricic said he had been covering the Middle East and especially civil war-hit Syria for the last two years, and previously he had worked in Rwanda and the earthquake zone in Japan.

He said he was taking pictures of the barricades and the municipality crew trying to clear the area and all of a sudden a man jumped forward and started yelling at him, saying, “Problem and some other things in Turkish, which I don’t understand,” he said.

Then some plainclothes men joined the alteration and they found themselves at the police station. Petricic said he was accused of “interfering in the city work crew’s work,” which does not sound like a “criminal act” under Turkish law. 

After his release, Petricic posted another tweet showing one of the pictures he took of the cleaning staff with the mocking comment, “Shocking pics like this one as city crews dismantled barricade to Taksim led to our arrest by Turkey police.”