>> A rare sight in tense times. Turkey's President Tayyip Erdoğan being welcomed by a European counterpart on a diplomatic visit. France's Emmanuel Macron has kept communication lines open with Ankara, despite relations with the European Union as a whole suffering since Turkey's 2016 failed military coup, after which Erdoğan began locking up tens of thousands of people.
Reuters Bureau Chief in Turkey, Dominic Evans, says European countries have criticized the crackdown scale.>> So there are differences, and Turkey says that European countries have to understand better the stress and the challenges that Turkey has faced since the failed coup in 2016.>> Turkey's human rights record rallied protestors to Paris' streets.
Reporters without borders calling attention to what they say occurred on media freedom in Turkey and trying to march on the Turkish embassy before being stopped by police. Macron had said during in New Year's address, he would question Erdoğan on Press Freedom.>>
> But the Turkish leader will be hoping to keep the conversation away from such subjects instead focusing on the stages of Jerusalem, Iraq and Syria.
And of course, Turkey's aspirations of joining the European Union. Accession is still it's target. And government members have said they want to see progress on that front. On the European side there'd be many countries that in the last few months have said it's time to reconsider the whole idea of Turkey's accession.
>> Before beginning the trip Erdoğan painted it as a very valuable visit. In recent times has been his relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin that strengthened over that with Western allies. And he may be hoping this will be step towards mending fractured relationships in Western Europe