02:25 GMT +319 December 2018
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    French President Emmanuel Macron walks back to his office after a meeting with guests at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, August 31, 2017

    Turkey Slams Macron's Remarks About Jailed Journalists

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    The spokesperson of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan assailed Emmanuel Macron's intention to discuss the fate of imprisoned members of the media with his Turkish counterpart.

    "In Turkey, judicial issues come under the responsibility of the judiciary," Turkish Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told journalists in Ankara on Thursday, commenting on French President Emmanuel Macron's promise to discuss the issue of jailed journalists during his forthcoming talks with Erdogan. 

    As the spokesperson has explained his stance that "being a journalist… does not mean that a person is innocent and does not mean that they are unable of committing a crime," adding that Macron "lacked information" on the issue.

    On January 3 the French president vowed to raise the issue during his talks with the Turkish president during the latter's visit to Paris, set for Friday, claiming that the imprisoned journalists are "prevented from practicing their profession."

    "I will do so with respect but with the concern to defend… our values and our interests," Macron said.

    Macron's statement is connected with the fate of two French citizens detained in Turkey last year over terror charges: Mathias Depardon and Loup Bureau.

    According to the P24 press freedom group, about 151 journalists have been imprisoned in the country since July 2016, when the state of emergency was declared due to the failed coup attempt.

    READ MORE: Turkish Police Arrest 49 Bank Stockholders Over Alleged Gulen Ties — Reports

    As Kalin has commented on the issue, Turkey has been fighting against three terror organizations: Daesh, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen's movement. He promised that Erdogan would present some documents explaining in a "detailed" manner why those people detained are members of a terror group.

    READ MORE: New Year Celebrations in Istanbul Center Canceled Over Terrorist Threat — Police

    Erdogan's Visit to France

    The upcoming visit to Paris will be the first one since the aforementioned coup attempt and Erdogan's third talks with EU leaders.

    The agenda will reportedly include the country's relations with the EU, the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, as well as the issue of bilateral trade.

    Tags:
    arrested journalists, European Union, Emmanuel Macron, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, France
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