Aslı Ceren Aslan is a journalist, editor, and activist from Turkey. Aslan’s work largely focused on issues of women’s rights, LGBTQ+ equality, and the situation of Kurdish people in Turkey. Aslı was the news editor and editor-in-chief for the leftist, pro-Kurdish weekly newspaper Özgür Gelecek (‘Free Future’). She holds a degree in Mathematics from the Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University.
As a journalist and editor-in-chief, Aslı Ceren Aslan has covered the clashes in the predominantly Kurdish south-east of Turkey as well as on the Syrian border. In her activist work, Aslan has often been involved in and posted on LGBTQ+ and feminist platforms, such as Kaos GL and Yeni Demokrat Kadın, respectively.
As a result of her editorial work at Özgür Gelecek, Aslan was accused of ‘spreading propaganda for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’ following the publication of several articles in the newspaper. In November 2016, she was sentenced to two years and six months in prison on charges of ‘producing propaganda for a terrorist organisation’. During the appeal of her sentence, Aslan continued her journalistic work and as part of it attempted to cross the border into Syria to report on women’s rights violations, including sexual violence, torture, and enslavement. In February 2017, she was caught by Turkish officials, and her sentence was upheld. Two years later, in July 2019, the High Criminal Court of Istanbul sentenced Aslan to six years and ten months in prison over her journalistic work and social media activism.
During Aslan’s imprisonment, various freedom of expression and human rights organisations, such as the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Stockholm Centre for Freedom, and PEN International campaigned for her release.
In July 2022, Aslı Ceren Aslan was welcomed as ICORN resident in Växjö, Sweden. She is currently learning Swedish and working on a book examining the impact of Turkey’s political climate between 2015-2019 on people’s everyday lives. Aslan continues to write articles on issues of women’s and LGBTQ+ rights in Turkey and globally.
For more information and updates on Aslan’s work, follow her on Twitter.