French reporter to be released from jail

President E. Macron

TheLocal.fr has learned from the AFP that Loup Bureau, a journalist who had been jailed in Turkey, will be released.

The 26-year-old had been detained on terrorism charges for the past seven weeks. President Emmanuel Macron previously tried to negotiate his release during a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, but had not been successful.

Earlier this week, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian made an in-person appeal on Bureau’s behalf while on a visit to Ankara.

Bureau’s attorneys made an announcement on behalf of their client. Christophe Deloire, a member of Reporters Without Borders, discussed Bureau’s release on social media, saying he would be back in Paris by Saturday.

Le Drian had meetings with Erdoğan and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

He later held a press conference with Cavusoglu, where he said, "We have asked for a procedure to be put in place rapidly so that our compatriot can return to France and his family.”

Bureau, who previously worked with TV5, was stopped at a border post in Sinark province, which is in the southeastern part of the country, near Iraq. He was accused of working with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YVG).

While many countries, including the United States, see the YVG as a valuable ally in the fight against the Islamic State, they are considered a terrorist organization in Turkey.

Bureau’s arrest drew international condemnation and highlighted the challenges facing the Turkish press. Reporters Without Borders recently ranked the country 155th in terms of press freedom.

Earlier this summer, the Turkish government released photojournalist Mathias Depardon.

According to P24, a press freedom website, there are over 150 journalists under arrest in Turkey. They include Deniz Yucel, a reporter for German newspaper Die Welt. Erdoğan himself called Yucel “a terror agent.”

Most of the journalists currently in prison were arrested during the state of emergency that followed a coup attempt against Erdoğan in July 2016.

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