US, Israel meddling in Iran, Pakistan: Erdogan

"But at the same time our democracies must completely protect the rule of law", Macron said in a joint news conference with Tayyip Erdogan after talks in Paris.

The lunch and talks at the Elysee Palace are expected to take in Syria and EU-Turkey relations, but Macron is also expected to voice concern over Erdogan's post-coup purges. We want to overcome these difficulties, open a new page, and we want to ensure opening of new negotiating chapters, "said Callen to France 24".

"We have had a very honest discussion on this subject", Macron told reporters, saying both sides needed to leave "hypocrisy" behind in pretending the process was moving forward normally.

Fethullah Gulen, the US -based preacher, is accused by Ankara of orchestrating a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

The visit to France will be Erdogan's first since the botched July 2016 putsch and one of only a handful to Europe since the attempted army takeover.

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More than 55,000 officials, security force members, judges, academics, journalists and activists have been arrested since the coup, which has been accompanied by a crackdown on pro-Kurdish activists.

Referring to the street protests that have rocked Iran in recent days, Macron said "We will continue to watch that these rights (freedom of thought and demonstrations) be fully respected".

Erdogan said that 54,000 people were banned from entering the country as part of the fight against the IS.

"This is seriously exhausting us and seriously exhausting our nation".

In November, he insisted that the European Union should maintain dialogue with both Russian Federation and Turkey, he even went as far as referring to Turkey as "an essential partner" when it comes to dealing with conflicts such as Syria, wherein France is seeking to play a greater role.

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