Turkish police attack British journalists with tear gas

A BBC team attempting to cover recent tensions on the Turkish-Syrian border were yesterday attacked by Turkish police as they tried to leave a protest held by Kurdish people living in the area.

The attack happened near Kobane, where Kurds were recently attacked by Islamic State militants.

A still from footage released shows a police vehicle approaching the team moments before firing on them with tear-gas

A still from footage released shows a police vehicle approaching the team moments before firing on them with tear-gas

The team were in the area filming covering Turkish authorities attempting to clear an area near the Turkish-Syrian border that was being occupied by mostly Kurdish protesters. The protesters were fired upon by Turkish police using tear-gas when the BBC team began filming.

Many Kurds living in the area are angry at Turkey’s lack of action towards Islamic State militants, which they see as being largely motivated by a lack of concern for Kurdish-Turks.

Kurds especially fear more attacks from the Islamic State as militants across Iraq and Syria continue to attack non-Muslim minorities, including many Kurds and Yazedi groups.

In video footage captured by the team angry shouting can be heard directed at the news team from a police vehicle that pulls up behind the news team. As the team enter their vehicle to drive away shots can be heard and one cameraman captures the rear view window of their car break as it is struck by a tear gas canister. Shortly after the camera is dropped in a panic as the team realise that a tear-gas canister is inside their car.

Coughing and screaming is heard as the vehicle pulls off the road and the team exit as fast as they can, attempting to escape the tear gas. “It’s in the car, get out now” one voice shouts as the team attempts to drive away. Heavy coughing and laboured breathing can be heard from journalist Paul Adams, whose microphone remained on during the attack.

The incident was condemned by many, who see any action taken towards a team of journalists as unacceptable.

Turkish authorities have currently made no statement on the attack.


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