by Uzay Bulut
As of December 14, at least 169 members of the media remained in Turkish prisons, either in pre-trial detention or serving sentences, according to a reportby the Platform for Independent Journalists. Many of these were arrested for articles and social media posts deemed "insulting" to Erdoğan. Berivan Bila, a journalism student at Karadeniz Technical University, for instance, was detained on December 6 -- after police raided her home and seized her computer, mobile phone, newspapers and books -- over an op-ed she had penned in 2017, titled: "School of Journalism -- Lesson one: Journalism is not a Crime."
Simultaneously, Turkey is stepping up its decades-long bid to become a member of the European Union. As part of this bid, Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul announced on December 11 that he would be unveiling a new strategy for judicial reform. Under no circumstances should the EU allow itself to be duped by such a transparently deceptive and deceitful move.
Uzay Bulut, a Turkish journalist, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute and currently based in Washington D.C.