WORLD

Turkey hits back over Macron comments on jailed reporters

On French President Emmanuel Macron's remarks regarding Turkey's press freedom, Kalın said: "We [Turkey] assume that this evaluation [of Macron] is based on lack of information."

Turkey on Thursday said French President Emmanuel Macron "lacked information" after he vowed to discuss the issue of imprisoned journalists in upcoming talks with counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Macron told reporters that during Erdoğan's visit to Paris on Friday he would "continue to discuss with Turkey the situation of imprisoned journalists who are prevented from practising their profession".

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

But Erdoğan's spokesman İbrahim Kalın said Macron's comments were "based on a lack of information, unless it was a prejudiced evaluation or judgement".

"In Turkey, judicial issues come under the responsibility of the judiciary," Kalın said.

Kalın told reporters in Ankara on Thursday that "being a journalist... does not mean that a person is innocent and does not mean that they are unable to commit a crime".

The spokesman said that Erdoğan would present documents and explain in a "detailed" manner how those being tried are a member of a terror group.

Erdoğan's visit will be the first to France since the 2016 attempted putsch, and his third bilateral talks in a European Union member state after visits to Poland and Greece.

High on their agenda will be Ankara's relations with the EU as well as the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and increasing bilateral trade.

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