Turkish court arrests journalism student for allegedly insulting Erdoğan

PHOTO: sendika.org

A Turkish court on Friday arrested Berivan Bila, a journalism student at Karadeniz Technical University, on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a column she wrote for a website, sendika.org reported.

Bila’s column, titled “Journalism faculty lesson 1: Journalism is not a crime,” appeared on the kollektifler.net website in July 2017, when several former Cumhuriyet journalists were detained due to their alleged ties to terrorist groups.

She was taken into custody by the Trabzon police at her home on Dec. 6.

According to the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) insulting the president carries a sentence of between one and four years.

Bila is the niece of prominent Turkish journalist Fikret Bila, who recently quit his job as editor-in-chief of the Hürriyet daily after the newspaper was sold to a pro-government businessman.

Turkey is the leading jailer of journalists in the world and is ranked 157th among 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).


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