French photographer Mathias Depardon detained in Turkey

Award winning photographer Mathias Depardon has been under detention in southeastern Turkey since Tuesday 9 May.

A French photographer who had been living in Turkey for several years was detained in southeastern Turkey on Tuesday according to a report in French daily Le Monde.

Mathias Depardon, an award winning independent photographer on assignment for National Geographic travelled to the historical town of Hasankeyf in Batman province on Monday and was detained along with his translator a day after his arrival.

Turkish police confiscated Depardon’s equipment and after inspecting his social media accounts charged him with “propaganda for a terrorist organisation” based on four photographs he had shared on his social media account three years ago, according to another report in Voice of America.

It is thought the posts were from a photo-report of female Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters by Depardon entitled, “Those women who are fighting the Islamic State,” in Iraq.

The prosecutor’s office released Depardon but Hasankeyf police sent him to a Migration Department detention center in Gaziantep province, stating that he will be deported.

The Turkey representative of Reporters Without Borders, Erol Onderoglu, said “Reporters Without Borders deplores the regular administrative constraints on international media representatives,“ adding, “We demand the release of Mathias Depardon without being deported and without further judicial prosecution.”

French journalist Olivier Bertrand, working for the news website Les Jours was detained in Gaziantep province on the Syrian border last November and later deported.

Another journalist, Italian Gabriele Del Grande, was also arrested while researching the conditions of refugees near the Turkish-Syrian border and deported after a two week detention.