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Macron once again calls Erdogan to seek French journalist’s release

Screengrab, Loup Bureau Twitter account

French President Emmanuel Macron asked his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to free detained French journalist Loup Bureau during a telephone conversation Sunday.

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Macron requested "the quick liberation and ... return to France" of Bureau, said a statement released by the French presidential office.

"The two presidents agreed to make further contact, and at the ministerial level as well, in order to arrive at a positive outcome," the statement from the Elysee Palace said of the journalist's plight.

Bureau, 27, was arrested on July 26 and accused of having links to Kurdish militias, which Turkey regards as terrorist groups.

He is studying for a master's degree in journalism but has also worked as a reporter, notably on a story for the French channel TV5 in 2013 on the Syrian group, the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

Macron and Erdogan also discussed the situation in Syria, Iraq and theGulf region as well as the battle against terrorism, with Franceworking to create a specialist contact group to discuss Syria on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly next month.

Clampdowns on the press in Turkey

Foreign journalists have repeatedly been accused by the Turkish government of supporting terrorism for reporting on Kurdish groups, adding to tensions between Erdogan and the EU.

Bureau is the third French journalist to be detained in Turkey in the past year.

In June, Turkey deported French photojournalist Mathias Depardon after holding him for a month on charges of supporting terror groups.

Another French reporter, Olivier Bertrand, was expelled in November 2016.

Deniz Yucel, a correspondent for the German daily Die Welt, has been held since February, personally accused by Erdogan of working as a "terror agent".

Turkey ranks 155 on the latest RSF world press freedom index after dropping four places from its 2016 ranking.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

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