Mathias Depardon was released by the Turkish authorities. The French journalist was detained since May 8th in the Gazantiep prison, nearby the Syrian border after touring for National Geography. Turkish authorities accused him of having worked without a press card and having contributed to the propaganda of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey.
Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire announced that “Mathias Depardon is aboard a Gaziantep plane in Istanbul, he should be back in Paris tonight”, on Twitter.
The journalist was held for over 30 hours in custody. The charge was based in part on photographs of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) photographer published in several French media. France 24 states that the police reportedly uploaded the news feed of his Twitter account in order to find the trace, which is denounced by Erol Önderoğlu, RSF official in Turkey, as a technique justifying his arrest after the fact. Following his arrest, Mathias Depardon had begun a severe hunger for nearly a week, before resuming his food once he was sure that his record was in good hands.
On 3 June, at the NATO summit, French President Emmanuel Macron asked his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the speedy release of the French citizen. Last Thursday, the journalist was visited by his mother.