Macron presses Turkey over detained French photojournalist
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
French President Emmanuel Macron on June 3 again urged Ankara to urgently release a French photojournalist held in detention in Turkey for nearly a month.
In a phone call with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Macron “restated his call to see [Mathias] Depardon brought home as soon as possible”, Macron’s Elysee Palace office said.
Depardon was detained on May 8 while on assignment for National Geographic magazine in Hasankeyf in the southeastern province of Batman. He has been held ever since, despite reports that he would be deported.
Two weeks after he was detained, Depardon, 36, went on hunger strike, only stopping nearly a week later when he learned that a consular visit would be allowed.
He was later visited by a French consul representative at an immigration department-run centre in the southeastern province of Gaziantep.
The visit followed Macron broaching his case with Erdoğan during a NATO summit in Brussels on May 25. Erdoğan promised he would “rapidly” look into the issue.
Another visit by French embassy representatives had been scheduled for June 2, the same day that the French foreign ministry said it was “actively working” on Depardon’s release.
Depardon was detained over “propaganda for a terror group” - a reference to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) - which could lead to a judicial investigation, according to Turkish authorities.