MACRON UNDERMINED: Hollande ‘steps in’ over case of imprisoned Frenchman in Turkey

Turkey has come under fire for its crackdown on domestic and foreign media following last year’s failed coup, with many accusing the authoritarian regime of human rights abuses.

A national outcry from France has followed the case of Loup Bureau.

Mr Hollande said: “I’ve asked my contacts in Turkey to push for the journalist’s immediate release… My actions, however, run in parallel to those being carried out by French officials. I don’t want to get in their way.

“We have to tell the Turks that Loup Bureau is a journalist who was just doing his job.”

Mr Bureau, 27, was arrested by Turkish border guards on the frontier with Iraq on July 26 after he was found to have photographs and interviews with Kurdish militia fighters among his possessions.

Turkey considers the Kurdish YPG militia to be an extension of the PKK, which has been named as a terrorist organisation by Ankara, the United States and the European Union.

Mr Bureau was taken to a state prison and is being held on charges of assisting a terrorist organisation, heightening concerns over his wellbeing and fate. 

Mr Hollande’s move, however, could be interpreted as a thinly veiled attempt to undermine his successor’s authority both at home and abroad.

Mr Macron – who took over the reins of power from Mr Hollande in May after quitting the Socialist government months earlier to form his own party – has asked Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to release Mr Bureau on two separate occasions, to no avail.

The young centrist first told Mr Erdogan that he wanted the journalist to be able to return to France “as soon as possible” on August 15.

They spoke again on August 27, but the Elysée palace has not released an update on the case since.

Mr Erdogan has faced fierce criticism over his treatment of foreign journalists following the regime’s crackdown on the press in the wake of last summer’s failed military coup, and has repeatedly locked horns with the European Union over its alleged abuse of human rights.