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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Images of Turkish Reporter Felled by Police Water Cannon Stir Anger Online

Turkish bloggers and journalists expressed outrage on social networks Thursday at images of a female television reporter who was knocked down by a direct blast of red liquid fired from a police water cannon during a protest in the capital, Anakara.

According to an Istanbul blogger who writes as Merlinka, the reporter, Hüsna Sari, said later that the officers appeared to aim the high-pressure hose directly at her even though she had made it clear that she was a journalist and showed the officers that she was holding a microphone. She was later hospitalized with back pain.

The blogger also shared a wire service photograph, which showed the vehicle the liquid was fired from, and argued that it was proof that the reporter had been targeted.

Her channel, Ulusal TV, reported Thursday evening that images of Ms. Sari being knocked to the ground had been shared thousands of times on social networks, and given rise to the tag #DirenHüsnaSarı â€" combining her name with the Turkish word “diren,” or “resist,” which is used by protesters in much the same way as the word “occupy” is in the United States.

The images were also remixed by one Turkish blogger to comment on Turkey’s recent crackdown on press freedom, which includes proposed restrictions on the use of the Internet.

Video of the incident posted online by the Turkish news agency DHA appeared to show that Ms. Sari was hit by two different streams, one clear and one red-tinged, suggesting that pepper spray might have been added to the water.