In the wake of the military defeats of the Islamic State group in the Middle East, a total of about 100 French nationals, including jihadist fighters, women and children, are now detained in Iraq and in Kurd-controlled territory in Syria. Their situation represents a dilemma for the French government, which is tempted to leave them in the hands of their captors and their justice systems, but which is under pressure from lawyers acting for their families who argue that to do so is unlawful and inhumane. Michel Deléan and Matthieu Suc report on the debate, and hear the arguments, which include security concerns, for and against their return.
The Islamic State terrorist organisation has been quietly preparing for the loss of its self-styled Caliphate for several months. France's security services now fear that its fighters might be moved to other areas of jihadist conflict or into Europe. In particular they have have raised concerns over the role of the terrorist's mysterious 'Emigration and Logistics Committee' based in Turkey, the Lebanon and Jordan, amid fears it may be used to send French and other European jihadists back to their country of origin. Matthieu Suc reports.
Loup Bureau, 27, who was arrested while crossing into Turkey from Iraq in July and detained for suspected terrorist activity after Turkish authorities discovered in his equipment pictures he had taken with members of a Kurdish militia in Syria, finally arrived back in Paris on Sunday after a high-profile campaign for his release, including intervention by President Emmnual Macron.
Loup Bureau, 27, who has been detained for almost two months in Turkey since he was arrested on the Iraqi-Turkish when he was found in posession of pictures and interviews with members of a Kurdish militia, is due to be deported back to France this weekend.
French President Emmanuel Macron has held a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and 'expressed his concern about the case of Loup Bureau, a journalism student detained in Turkey, and his desire to see our compatriot return to France as soon as possible' said a statement by the Elysée Palace.
Man, who had photographs of and interviews with Kurdish militia fighters on him, has appeared in court on suspicion of aiding a terrorist group.
Press photographer Mathias Depardon, 37, was expected back in France late Friday after a month in detention in south-east Turkey where he was arrested on suspicion of taking part in 'terrorist propoganda' while on an assignement for National Geographic magazine photographing the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
Many Syrian refugees living in Turkey have gone to the French Consulate in Istanbul in the hope of obtaining a visa that will allow them to travel to France in safety. But only a small number ever get granted this precious document. Mediapart's Carine Fouteau tells the story of one Kurdish family from Syria who were twice forced to flee the fighting and who are now desperately waiting for a visa from the French authorities that would restore hope to their shattered lives.
Conservative and far-right presidential candidates sharply criticised the socialist government for allowing Turkey's foreign minister to attend a meeting in France to rally support for proposed changes to his country's constitution which will strengthen the powers of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Kevin Guiavarch, 24, was arrested for suspected terrorist activities following his extradition to France from Turkey where he reportedly surrendered himself claiming he was 'repentant' after joining the Islamic State group in Syria.
French diplomatic missions in the cities of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir are closed until further notice over unspecified security fears.
Ahead of next week's EU-Turkey summit, the French president said visa rules and respect of human rights would not be traded for migrant control.
In January 2013 three female Kurdish activists were gunned down in cold blood at their offices in Paris. The chief – and only - official suspect will stand trial in France early this year for their murder. However, despite an investigation by three examining magistrates the people who ordered the killings have never officially been identified. Instead, political, diplomatic and security concerns appear to have blunted the French judiciary's probe. Nonetheless, writes Jacques Massey, it is clear that the confrontational approach adopted by Turkish president president Recep Tayyip Erdogan towards the Kurds lies behind the shootings.
François Hollande was speaking at ceremony in Armenia's capital Yerevan to mark 100 years since mass killings of roughly 1.5 million people.