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French reporter jailed in Turkey ‘set to be freed’

A young French reporter who has been held on terror charges in Turkey for the last seven weeks is set to be freed, his lawyers said Friday .

The news came a day after French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had pressed Turkish leaders on a visit to Ankara to free 27 -year-old journalism student Loup Bureau .
“ We have the satisfaction to announce that he is being freed, ” Bureau ’ s lawyers said, while Christophe Deloire, of Reporters Without Borders , said on Twitter that Bureau ’ s release was “ imminent ” and he would return to Paris on Saturday .

While there was no confirmation of his release from Turkish officials , his French lawyer Martin Pradel said that he would be “ expelled from Turkey shortly ”.

“ The judge has ordered his release and expulsion from Turkey , ” the journalist’ s Turkish lawyer Mesut Gerez told AFP .

“ He has been handed over to the police and sent to a deportation centre . He will be deported this evening or tomorrow , ” he added.
Bureau ’ s father , Loic Bureau , said he was “ very very happy ” and had been able to speak to his son on the phone for about thirty minutes .

“ He seemed surprised and relieved, but also cautious , ” he said, adding that he and his wife would probably be reunited with their son on Saturday evening in Paris.

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed the news, saying on Twitter, “ I rejoice at the freeing of Loup Bureau . It is a great relief for us all. ”

He had previously sought to secure the reporter ’ s release in a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan , who also met Le Drian on Thursday.

Bureau , a journalism student who has worked with the television channels TV 5 and Arte as well as the website Slate, was detained in late July at the Habur border post in southeastern Sirnak province on the Iraqi -Turkish border .

He was charged with membership of the Kurdish People’ s Protection Units ( YPG) , a group which Ankara says is a terrorist organisation .

Washington , however, sees the group as the main force leading the fight against Islamic State jihadists on the ground in Syria .

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