On 13 February, Çağdaş Erdoğan will stand trial in Istanbul accused of membership and support of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a separatist group classified as a terrorist organisation by the Turkish government. Erdoğan is of Kurdish descent, grew up in the region and, as an adult, embedded with affiliates of the PKK during the complex, multifactional conflict that has crossed the borders of Syria, Iraq and Turkey. But he did so, he claims, purely as a photojournalist intent on documenting an unseen conflict for the world’s media and without any alliance with or allegiance to any organisation. His only allegiance was to photography.
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.”