Aslı Erdoğan is a renowned Turkish novelist and human rights activist.
On August 16, 2016, soldiers in black masks barged into Ms. Erdoğan’s home and incarcerated her on a charge of supporting terrorism. The basis for the criminal case, she was told, was her five years of writing articles and serving on the advisory board of Özgür Gündem, a daily newspaper the Turkish government alleged was linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party. She was arrested along with more than 20 other journalists and employees of Özgür Gündem, which was shut down by decree following the failed 2016 coup attempt.
Ms. Erdoğan was held in solitary confinement for the next five days—the first two of which she was deprived of water—and then jailed with other female prisoners. After 133 days in prison, Ms. Erdoğan was given her first opportunity to defend herself in court.
Erdoğan was released from the Bakırköy state prison on December 29, 2016, but was barred from travelling outside the country. While her travel ban was lifted on June 22, 2017, her case was still under consideration until February 2020, when all charges were dropped.