CNN International reporter leaves Turkey with Erdoğan fanfare
Departing CNN reporters Ivan Watson shows off his parting gifts, including a shirt that says 'lackey' (dalkavuk).CNN International correspondent Ivan Watson has said goodbye to Istanbul at a farewell party with colleagues, who gave him some tongue-in-cheek gifts referring to his recent clash with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Watson held a farewell party on June 27, after serving as a reporter in Istanbul for 12 years.
Dirk Vermeiren, a Dutch sports journalist, presented him with a scarf used by pro-Erdoğan voters during election rallies as a parting gift. Another of Watson's friends completed the outfit with a jersey of Kasımpaşa, the football club of Erdoğan's hometown that plays at the "Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Stadium." The jersey carried the word "lackey" on its back.
“That CNN International lackey is trying to do something there. He made an eight-hour broadcast during last year’s Gezi events. Why? To stir up trouble in my country. This year, they have been caught red-handed,” Erdoğan had said on June 3, labeling Watson an "agent."
CNN International stood behind its reporter, after he was briefly detained near Taksim Square while live on air on May 31.
During a June 3 briefing, U.S. Department of State Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf dismissed Erdoğan’s accusations targeting Watson as "ridiculous."
Earlier in May, CNN had announced that Watson would be relocating to Hong Kong.