French reporter detained in Turkey expelled
PARIS - Agence France-PresseA French reporter was expelled from Turkey on Nov. 13 after being detained near the Syrian border in the country’s southeast, his employers said.
Olivier Bertrand “has arrived in Paris (CDG airport) and is in good shape,” said Isabelle Roberts, head of online news media Les Jours.
Bertrand was detained on Nov. 11 in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, where he was working on a series of planned stories on Turkey in the aftermath of the July 15 failed coup attempt.
State-run Anadolu Agency said earlier that Bertrand was being held in the northwestern province of Kocaeli and would likely be expelled in the evening.
It said he had been detained for failing to seek proper accreditation.
But it also described him as writing articles “favorable” to those allegedly behind the failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in July.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Nov. 13 said his detention was “deeply shocking, unacceptable.”
Other French media and internet users also threw their weight behind calls for Bertrand’s release.
“In a democratic country, Olivier Bertrand would have been able to continue reporting without being expelled by a government which has things to hide,” said Christophe Deloire, general secretary of the watchdog group Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
His arrest came the same day that police detained the CEO of daily Cumhuriyet Akın Atalay. Atalay was arrested on Nov. 12.