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French reporter expelled from Turkey

TURKEY / FRANCE / REPORTER: A French reporter was expelled from Turkey on Sunday after he was detained near the Syrian border in the country’s southeast, his employers said.

“Our journalist, Olivier Bertrand, is free, he is on the plane for Paris,” the online news media Les Jours announced on Twitter.

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Bertrand was detained on Friday in Gaziantep province, where he was working on a series of planned stories on post-coup Turkey.

Turkish news agency Anadolu said earlier that Bertrand was being held in the northwest and would likely be expelled in the evening.

It said he had been detained for failing to seek proper accreditation.

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But it also described him as writing articles “favourable” to those allegedly behind the failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Sunday said his detention was “deeply shocking, unacceptable”.

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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,” added Christophe Deloire, general secretary of the watchdog group Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

His arrest came the same day that Turkey detained the board chairman of opposition daily Cumhuriyet, which has faced an intensifying crackdown since the failed coup.

Courtesy : Express Tribune



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