Mother visits French journalist held in Turkey
GAZİANTEPA French photojournalist who has been held in Turkey for a month saw his mother on June 8 for the first time since being detained in an “emotional” meeting near the Syrian border.
“It was very emotional for both sides. I saw my son crying because he was so moved,” Daniele Van de Lanotte told AFP outside the detention center in the southeastern province of Gaziantep after seeing her son Mathias Depardon, who turned 37 this week.
Depardon was detained on May 8 while on assignment for National Geographic magazine in Hasankeyf, in the southeastern Batman province. He has been held since then despite reports he would be deported.
“I am relieved to see him, it is quite a gift,” Van de Lanotte, 66, said. “He looked pretty good.” “We brought him many books, clothes and newspapers,” she added.
Two weeks after he was detained, Depardon went on hunger strike, stopping almost a week later when he learned that a consular visit would be allowed.
A French consul representative based in Ankara, Christophe Hemmings, was allowed an hour-long visit with Depardon, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Secretary-General Christophe Deloire.
The Turkish authorities have said he was detained over “propaganda for a terror group” - a reference to the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) - and this could lead to a judicial investigation.
His mother was accompanied on her visit by Hemmings and Deloire.
“Mathias Depardon must be released now,” Deloire said.