French journalist arrested in Turkey for ‘supporting terrorist organization’

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Loup Bureau

French journalist Loup Bureau has been arrested in the southeastern Turkish province of Şırnak on charges of aiding and supporting a terrorist organization, dihaber reported on Wednesday.

Bureau was planning to travel to the Kurdish region of northern Iraq through the Habur border gate after visiting Şırnak when Turkish police detained him.

The court ruled for the arrest of Bureau on Tuesday, accusing him of aiding and supporting a terrorist organization.

Bureau was taken to the Şırnak T-type prison.

Pressure on foreign journalists in Turkey has been mounting in recent years, with the government, pro-government journalists and government trolls on social media directly targeting them.

French photojournalist Mathias Depardon, who was detained on May 8 in Turkey for “disseminating the propaganda of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on social media,” was deported on June 9.

On April 9, Gabriele del Grande, an Italian journalist working for the ANSA news agency, was detained during a security check in the southern province of Hatay. He was released by a Turkish court on April 25.

Del Grande was interviewing Syrian refugees for a book he is writing about the war and the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Last November another French journalist, Olivier Bertrand, was detained in the southeastern province of Gaziantep and deported three days later following the diplomatic efforts exerted by Paris.

In the last days of 2016, Wall Street Journal correspondent in İstanbul Don Nissenbaum was held incommunicado for over two days for tweeting about an alleged soldier burning by ISIL.

In January The New York Times reported that Turkey denied entry to one of its veteran reporters, Rod Nordland, at İstanbul Atatürk Airport, with no reason offered by officials as to why he was not allowed to enter the country.

Deniz Yücel, who works for the German Die Welt newspaper and has been kept in pre-trial detention in Turkey since Feb. 27 as part of an investigation for publishing stories on the leaked emails of President Erdoğan’s son-in-law and Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, was arrested by a court on Feb. 27.

In April, the Turkish government refused to renew the press accreditation of German Stern magazine reporter Raphael Geiger due to alleged remarks insulting Erdoğan.

Two Swedish journalists were also temporarily detained by police in November last year in the Kurdish southeastern province of Diyarkabır.

Lindsey Snell, an American freelance journalist detained by Turkish security forces on Aug. 7, 2016 as she crossed into Turkey from Syria and accused of having illegally entered a restricted military zone, was released in October after two months’ detention in Turkey.

Finnish journalist and writer Taina Niemela was deported from Turkey in April 2016 on charges that she had been involved in “spying activities.

After CNN’s Ivan Watson was detained during a live broadcast from the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul in 2013, Erdoğan accused him of “working like a spy.”

Erdoğan also went after the Economist’s Turkey correspondent, Amberin Zaman, for her remarks on a TV show: “Shameless militant disguised under the name of a journalist.”

Selin Girit, a host on the BBC’s Turkish service, was another journalist targeted by Erdoğan, who said, “Part of a conspiracy against her own country.”

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