“MY FRIENDS!” writes Çağdaş Erdoğan from the Silivri Prison, Istanbul on 21 September, in a handwritten letter translated by a curator contact and circulated by his publisher Akina Books. “I salute all of you with my heart. Regardless of the illogical times we have been having, I hope you are well. Don’t worry about me. I’m doing well despite the physical and psychological negativities I experienced since the last two weeks.” Erdoğan was taken into custody at the start of September and officially arrested on 13 September, when he was put into pretrial arrest on accusations of membership to a terrorist organisation. In his letter, Erdoğan discusses the reason he was initially apprehended, and discusses some of the reasons he has been given for the terrorism charges.
When Mathias Depardon was released by the Turkish government on 09 June, he had been held in custody for 32 days. Detained on 08 May in Hasankeyf in South East Turkey, the French freelancer had been on his very first day of shooting on assignment for National Geographic. “It was my first day photographing the new settlement of Hasankeyf, 300km from Batman,” he explains, adding that he had been in the region for 10 days and was driving back from Gaziantep when he was stopped.
One month after French photographer Mathias Depardon was first detained by the Turkish police, he has finally been released. It took pressure from the French government and Reporters Sans Frontiers, and a hunger strike by Depardon, but this evening he was on his way to Paris. And yesterday, after a month of only being allowed meetings with his lawyer, Emine Şeker, the 37-year-old was allowed to meet his mother, Daniele Van de Lanotte. “It was very emotional for both sides,” she told AFP. “I saw my son crying because he was so moved. I am relieved to see him, it is quite a gift.”
Despite an order for his deportation issued on 11 May, Mathieu Depardon remains in Turkish custody, his only contact with the outside world via his lawyer, Emine Şeker – who now has informed RSF that he began a protest hunger strike on 21 May
Non-governmental organisation has called for French photographer Mathias Depardon’s immediate and unconditional release, describing his detention in Southeast Turkey since 8 May “completely unjustified”. Aged 30 and based in Istanbul, Depardon was arrested while doing a report on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers for National Geographic magazine.
French photographer Mathias Depardon has been arrested in South East Turkey, according to Erol Önderoğlu, the Turkish representative for the Reporters Without Borders NGO. Önderoğlu tweeted on 10 May that Depardon had been taken into custody after taking pictures of the ancient city of Hasankeyf and the Euphrates river; he added shortly afterwards that Depardon had been detained for 35 hours then transferred to the Immigration Administration [a migration centre], and had two cameras confiscated. On 10 May Önderoğlu tweeted with an update, stating that Depardon “faces ‘deport’ or ‘administrative detention’ at MigrationCenter (Lawyer)”. It is believed that Depardon was shooting on assignment for National Geographic – which was tagged in Önderoğlu’s first tweet. Önderoğlu was himself was placed under pre-trial arrest in June 2016, along with Ahmet Nesin and academic Sebnem Korur Fincanci, over charges of disseminating “terrorist propaganda”, after participating in a solidarity campaign supporting Ozgur Gundem, a pro-Kurdish publication, according to a report published on 21 June 2016 by The Guardian. The Stockholm Center for Freedom has detailed numerous other recent journalist arrests in …
French photographer Mathias Depardon first visited Baku in 2012, shooting human rights issues at the Nagorno Karabkh border, and describes the place as “Orwellian”. “I was fascinated by the effect the government had made to polish the city and make it look fast and modern,” he says. “It seems like they are trying to attract the attention elsewhere to make their reputation more respectful on the international scene.” Once Soviet, Azerbaijan became independent after a bloody conflict with Soviet troops in 1990; a repressive government took control and, when the country found prosperity via a huge contract with a European oil consortium, the wealth was not even distributed. More than 40 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, and the global slump in oil prices is now poised to push living standards down still further. It’s also casting dark clouds over the ambitious infrastructure spending that has transformed the city scape, and which so struck Depardon. He’s visited Baku four times since 2012, taking a long-term approach to his project and fitting it …