French man arrested on ‘terror’ charges in Turkey's Şırnak
ŞIRNAKTurkish authorities have arrested a French national on charges of links to the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Freelance journalist Loup Jean Rene Bureau, who has worked in the past with French channel TV5, was detained last week at the Habur border post in the southeastern province of Şırnak on the Iraqi-Turkish border.
He was arrested on Aug. 2 ahead of trial on charges of membership to the YPG, which Ankara considers a terror group linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Judicial sources said the charges related to a report Bureau had done several years ago with the YPG in Syria.
A French diplomatic source said France was aware of Bureau’s detention and following the situation with the “greatest attention.”
It was also seeking consular access as soon as possible, the source told AFP.
According to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, he was found to have a video called “List of weapon distribution.”
A Twitter account in the name of Loup Bureau identified him as a journalism student who was learning Arabic.
While Ankara regards the YPG a terrorist group, Washington considers it as the main fighting force on the ground in Syria against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The United States is now openly arming the YPG and the group is heavily involved in the U.S.-backed operation to oust ISIL jihadists from their stronghold of Raqqa.