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French national detained in Turkey after crossing from Iraq: agency
August 2, 2017 / 9:03 PM / in 3 months

French national detained in Turkey after crossing from Iraq: agency

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish border guards have detained a French national at the border with Iraq after he was found to have photographs and interviews with Kurdish militia fighters among his possessions, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said on Wednesday.

It said the man, identified as Loup Jean Rene Bureau, was detained last week after entering Turkey at the Habur crossing.

He appeared in court in the provincial capital Sirnak on Tuesday and was remanded in custody on suspicion of assisting a terrorist organization, Anadolu said citing a security official.

He was also found to have a video entitled “List of weapon distribution”, the agency said. There was no immediate comment from French officials.

A Twitter account in the name of Loup Bureau identified him as a journalism student who was learning Arabic.

The Habur border crossing is less than 20 km (just over 10 miles) from northeastern Syria, where Kurdish YPG militia fighters control territory.

Turkey considers the YPG to be an extension of the PKK, which has fought a three-decade insurgency in southeast Turkey and is designated a terrorist organization by Ankara, the United States and European Union.

The Frenchman’s detention came five months after Turkish authorities arrested German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel on charges of propaganda in support of a terrorist organization and inciting public violence.

Yucel, who is still being held, denies the charges. He is one of scores of journalists detained in Turkey during a year-long crackdown following the failed military coup in July 2016.

Reporting by Dominic Evans; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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