Hollande asks Turkey to prevent French citizens from joining jihadist fighters
PARIS – Doğan News Agency
Hdllande (2nd L) and Erdoğan discussed Islamist jihadists in Syria and Iraq.French President François Hollande has requested that Turkey tighten measures to prevent French youths from joining jihadist fighters in Syria and Iraq, according to French sources.
During a one-hour meeting in Paris on June 20, Hollande told Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that France was looking into developing close cooperation with Turkey on the issue, sources said.
For his part, Erdoğan reportedly said the fact that Turkey was a popular tourism destination made such controls more difficult.
Turkey has so far deported 22 young French citizens who wanted to join jihadists across the border, and there are thought to be around 200 more in the region, the Turkish prime minister also said.
Erdoğan was visiting France to attend the 10th anniversary celebrations of the pro-AKP non-governmental organization the Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD). He was accompanied by Turkey's European Union Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz and a number of other officials.
Ukraine was another item on the agenda for Erdoğan and Hollande, as the two discussed the energy safety of the continent and the role of the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project, which will carry gas from Azerbaijan to western Turkey and on to Europe.