Erdoğan says he informed Macron about ‘so-called’ journalists

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French President Emmanuel Macron (R) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan walk during a joint press conference on January 5, 2018, at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Erdogan will attempt to reset relations with Europe at talks with Macron in Paris on January 5 that are likely to be overshadowed by human rights concerns. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / LUDOVIC MARIN

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he informed French President Emmanuel Macron about “so-called” journalists in Turkish jails during a visit to Paris, Hürriyet reported on Sunday.

“I informed Macron about the so-called journalists who are in prison in Turkey. I have told him that some of them are in prison for ordinary crimes, but the majority of them are there due to terrorism and links to terrorism,” Erdoğan told reporters on his way back to Turkey.

Saying that the French leader gave him the names of some jailed journalists, Erdoğan said: “I told him [Macron] that ‘I will send you information about what sort of claims prosecutors have put forward against them. Our judiciary is just as respected as yours is.”

Erdoğan also said he told Macron that “Turkey is ahead of many Western countries in terms of human rights.”

In reference to jailed businessman and civil activist Osman Kavala, who was arrested on Nov. 1, 2017, Erdoğan underlined his uneasiness with people who expressed their concern about  Kavala in France.

“It seems there are lawyers of Kavala in France, too. He is the Soros of Turkey, the hero of all the work behind the Gezi events [Gezi Park protests of 2013]. He is the name behind the curtains of those things. It is meaningful to see which circles embrace this kind of person,” Erdoğan added.

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