DETAINED in Turkey, witness of the London Bridge attack, and writing for a Syrian news agency. Aylin Kilic has experienced a lot, but is continuing to pursue her dream of reporting on the Middle East conflicts.
The 22-year-old known as Aylina travelled to her family home country of Turkey, during her Christmas break from Brighton University in 2016. As a journalism student, she worked for a month in a Kurdish news agency, reporting and editing news stories in English.
‘I wanted to learn more about my own ethnic roots’ she said, and during her time there she focused on the armed conflict between Turkey and the Kurdish people. However, she was accused of making propaganda for a terrorist organisation, and was held in a cell overnight, even being strip-searched by the officers.
‘I’m a journalist, but they treated me like a terrorist’, she said. She appeared in court the next day and after giving her account to the prosecutor, she was released.
After returning from Turkey, she witnessed the London Bridge attack this summer.
‘I was there, and to see my own city in this position,’ she said ‘I was appalled, I think our government need to do better at tackling terrorism and this can be done by supporting the right groups in the Middle East.’
After her ‘A’ levels, London born Aylin aimed to be a musician, and attended a performing arts school, but found it wasn’t for her. Turning her hand to journalism seemed natural, and her first step was studying a radio course in South London.
Now, after the experiences she has gained through working with different Middle Eastern news agencies, she has begun the NCTJ course at Harlow College. ‘After this I want to get into the industry’ she explained.
From her time in Turkey, she developed a passion for the plight of Kurdish women fighting Isis. She continues to write on her own blog, and for other agencies such as ANHA, a Syrian news agency.
If you’d like to follow Aylina and read about her experiences and opinions, you can find her on Twitter ‘Aylina Kilic’