Rights in Exile Programme

Refugee Legal Aid Information for Lawyers Representing Refugees Globally

Turkey - COI

Click here to see the host countries of refugees originating from Turkey.

Bill Bowring

Email: b [dot] bowringatbbk [dot] ac [dot] uk

Professor Bowring is a Barrister and academic with research experience in Eastern and Central Europe. He is Professor of Law at Birkbeck College, University of London, where he is also the Director of the LLM/MA in human Rights. As part of the LLM/MA he teaches a course in minority rights, as well as courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level in international law and human rights. He has more than 100 publications including two books and is fluent in Russian. He participated in the founding of the Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP), together with the late Professor Kevin Boyle and Professor Francoise Hampson of Essex University, and their former LLM student Kerim Yildiz, a Kurdish lawyer who became and still is Executive Director of the Project. Until 2012 when KHRP was closed, he was a member of KHRP’s Advisory Group. In 2015 he participated in the British Council Researcher Links Workshop organised by the Ankara University Faculty of Political Sciences & Queen’s University Belfast entitled “New Modalities for Democratic Autonomy for Minorities that do not entail Dismembering States: the Case of the Republic of Turkey”. During 2015 Minority Rights Group International commissioned Bill Bowring to write a case study on the Kurds in Turkey for their annual “State of the World’s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples” Report, which was published in July 2015. His case study is entitled: “Little change, two decades on, for Turkey’s displaced Kurds.”

Please note, Mr. Bowing charges £400 per hour for reports which take around 20 hours to complete; therefore his fee is approximately £8,000 for an expert report.

Dr Rebwar Fatah

Email: rebwaratmideastconsultancy [dot] com or infoatmideastconsultancy [dot] com

Dr Rebwar Fatah is the founder and Managing Director of MECS. He has extensive knowledge of the Middle East and North Africa, and of Western involvement in that region. Dr Fatah has been working as a Middle East expert since 2000, and has produced hundreds of reports for court purposes. Dr Fatah's reports have been cited in over two thousand immigration appeals, as well as family and criminal cases in which his expertise has been accepted. A number of media outlets and professional bodies also rely on his opinion, as well as IOM, UNHCR, and national government bodies.

Dr Fatah’s commercial and financial knowledge of the Middle East and the western market, coupled with his deep knowledge of technology and its implementation makes him unique in his field. He regularly visits the Middle East conducting fact-finding missions to ensure that his knowledge is up to date and based on reliable information. Dr Fatah speaks most of the Middle Eastern languages as well as their various dialects.

Dr Fatah’s Country Expert Reports cover a wide range of issues, including general security (examining the actions of state and non-state actors) and sufficiency of protection, crimes of honour, healthcare, corruption, employment markets, and at-risk groups of different sexual, religious, political and cultural profiles.

Dr Adrian R. Marsh

Researcher in Romani Studies, University of Greenwich (London)
Email: romanistudiesatmac [dot] com
Tel: +90 533 232 3973

Roma rights, Romani children's rights

Dr Marsh is based in Istanbul, Turkey where he has been working with the Romani and Gypsy communities of the region since 2002. He gained his PhD in Romani Studies from Greenwich University (London), his MA (South East European Studies) from SOAS/SSEES and completed his BA Hons (1st) in East European History at SSEES, London. He has also been a Gypsy/Traveller Education Support Teacher in London.

He teaches courses on Romani history and culture, trans-national forced migration, refugee studies and human rights and children's rights in Turkey, Sweden, the UK, Albania, Kosovo, Rumania, Cyprus and Egypt. He is a frequent and accredited expert for the European Commission, Council of Europe and the European Parliament and has published widely on the issues of Roma rights and Romani children's rights, Romani history, language and cultures. He has also been a consultant for a number of major NGO's (European Roma Rights Centre, Save the Children, Helsinki Citizens' Assembly) and has produced many research reports in both capacities. He has also acted as an expert witness in a number of refugee cases involving Romani and Gypsy people from Turkey, the Balkans and Egypt seeking asylum in the UK. He is of English Romany-Traveller origins himself.

Dr Neva Ozturk

Email: nevaozturkatgmail [dot] com

Dr Neva Ö. Öztürk has been a faculty member of Private International Law Department of Ankara University Faculty of Law for 7 years. Her current studies predominantly focus on foreigners’ law with special emphasis on immigration and asylum including the topic of refugee status determination and its evaluation through comparative analyses which also constitute the research subject of her Ph.D. thesis. 

Dr Lami Bertan Tokuzlu

Email: bertan [dot] tokuzluatbilgi [dot] edu [dot] tr

Dr Tokuzlu was educated at the Istanbul University (Law School), Lund University (Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Sweden) and Marmara University (European Union Institute). Tokuzlu received his PH. D. Degree from the Marmara University with his academic work titled “Non- Refoulement Principle in a European Legal Environment: With Particular Emphasis on Turkey, a Candidate Country at the External Borders of the EU”. 

In addition to his academic studies, Tokuzlu has been involved in several initiatives where he assisted state or non-state institutions, such as,  acting as a consultant to the Committee which drafted “The Foreigners and International Protection Law”,  being a member of Istanbul Provincial Human Rights Council or contributing to the training or regulation development programmes organized by IOM or UNHCR. His fields of expertise comprise International Protection Law, Constitutional Law, Human Rights Law, European Union Law. 

Dr Sara Nur Yıldız

Email: saranuryildizatgmail [dot] com

An expert in the Islamic medieval world with a focus on Anatolia and the Ottoman period, Sara Nur Yıldız received her Ph.D. from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago. A dual citizen of the USA and Turkey with native fluency in both English and Turkish, Dr Yıldız has lived in Turkey for the past 15 years. After teaching at the History Department at Istanbul Bilgi University (2003-2010), in 2011 she joined the Orient-Institut Istanbul, a German government-supported research institute, as an academic researcher. Dr Yıldız is likewise employed as a research fellow on a European Research Council-funded project (“Islam in Anatolia”) based at the University of St Andrews. A member of the former Turkish Greens party and founding member of the ‘Greens and Left Party’ (Yeşiller ve Sol Gelecek Partisi) established in 2012, Dr Yıldız has been active in green politics in Turkey.

Dr Yael Navaro

Email: yn213atcam [dot] ac [dot] uk

Dr. Yael Navaro is a social anthropologist who teaches at the University of Cambridge with an expertise and numerous publications on Turkey. She has conducted extensive anthropological research in Turkey on topics including state practices, secularism, Islamism, legal cultures, violence, and the status of minority communities. Most recently, she has been conducting fieldwork in south Turkey, in an area close to Turkey's border with Syria, on the effects of the Syrian war on local communities, the changing face of politics in Turkey as a result of the Syrian war, and the condition of refugees from Syria.

Dr Elise Massicard

Email: elise [dot] massicardatsciencespo [dot] fr

Dr. Elise Massicard has been a permanent research fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris since 2003. A political sociologist, she has conducted extensive research in Turkey on topics including the Alevi movement, secularism, migration, activism, state practices, sociology of law, and violence. She has published widely on these topics.

Dr. Massicard gained her PhD in political science from Sciences Po Paris (2002), her MA in social sciences from Freie Universität Berlin, her BA in turcology from the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, and her habilitation in political science (2015) from Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne in Paris.

She speaks Turkish fluently and lived in Turkey during five years. She worked at the French Institute for Anatolian Research as the head of the department on Contemporary Turkey between 2010 and 2014. She has also taught political science at the French speaking department of political and administrative science at Marmara University in Istanbul in 2002-2003.

Dr Esra Özyürek

Email: E [dot] G [dot] Ozyurekatlse [dot] ac [dot] uk

Dr. Esra Özyürek is an Associate Professor and Chair for Contemporary Turkish Studies at the European InstituteLondon School of Economics. She received her BA in Sociology and Political Science at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul and her MA and PhD in Anthropology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Before joining the LSE she taught at the Anthropology Department of University of CaliforniaSan Diego. Dr. Özyürek is a political anthropologist who seeks to understand how IslamChristianity, secularism, and nationalism are dynamically positioned in relation to each other in Turkey and in Europe. She is the recipient of Barkan Prize for best article in the field of Turkish Studies. Her most recent book Being German, Becoming Muslim: Race, Religion and Conversion in the New Europe has been published by the Princeton University Press (2014). Her previous book Nostalgia for the Modern: State Secularism and Everyday Politics in Turkey has been published by Duke University Press (2007). She also is the editor of Politics of Public Memory in Turkey published by Syracuse University Press (2007) and Unuttuklarɩ ve Hatɩrladɩklarɩyla Turkiye’nin Toplumsal Hafɩzasɩ by İletişim Yayɩnevi (2002).

Prof Kerem Öktem

Email: kerem [dot] oktematuni-graz [dot] at

Kerem Öktem is Professor for the Study of Southeast Europe and Modern Turkey at the University of Graz. He joined the Law Faculty and the Centre of Southeast European Studies at Graz in September 2014. Before coming to Austria, he was Open Society Research Fellow at the European Studies Centre, University of Oxford. It was also at Oxford where he read for a Master degree in Modern Middle Eastern Studies and completed his D. Phil. at the School of Geography in 2006. He is a longstanding research associate of the programme for Southeast European Studies at Oxford (SEESOX), Vice-President of the Research Foundation Switzerland Turkey and alumni of the Mercator-IPC Fellowship. In addition to his academic publications, he is also a regular contributor to OpenDemocracy and several media outlets. His most recent books are Angry Nation. Turkey since 1989 (Zed Books, 2011) and Another Empire (Bilgi, 2012). Together with Hans-Lukas Kieser and Maurus Reinkowski, he editedWorld War I and the end of the Ottoman World: From the Balkan Wars to the Armenian genocide (IB. Tauris, 2015).

Sonya Landesmann

Email: sominskaatbtinternet [dot] com

Sonya Landesmann is an intercultural psychoanalytic psychotherapist with training in medical anthropology as well as psychotherapy. She has specialist insight and understanding of how mental and emotional distress may be expressed by people from other cultures. Her specialist subjects are trauma, torture, conflict and war and she has experience in working with asylum seekers and refugees. Sonya Landesmann has written a great number of reports for human rights purposes, and she prepares both country expert reports offering a socio-cultural opinion and psycho-social reports offering a mental health assessment combined with a cultural and psychological opinion. 

Gareth Jenkins

Email: garethhuwjenkinsatgmail [dot] com

Gareth Jenkins is a writer and analyst based in Istanbul, Turkey, where he has been resident since 1989. During his first ten years in Turkey, he worked as a journalist for international wire services, newspapers and periodicals, covering a broad range of political, economic and social issues related to Turkey and the surrounding region. In recent years he has focused primarily on analysis, contributing numerous articles, reviews and commentaries to scholarly journals and edited volumes and delivering presentations at seminars and conferences. Although he continues to write and speak on diverse aspects of Turkish politics, economics and social change, his special fields of interest are civil-military relations, terrorism and security issues, Kurdish nationalism and political Islam. He is currently a non-resident senior fellow at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center, a transatlantic research and policy initiative between the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of John Hopkins University in Washington and the Institute for Security and Development Policy in Stockholm. His publications include “Occasional Allies, Enduring Rivals: Turkey’s Relations with Iran” (Silk Road Paper, May 2012), “Between Fact and Fantasy: Turkey’s Ergenekon Investigation” (Silk Road Paper, August 2009), “Political Islam in Turkey: Running West, Heading East?” (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), “Context and Circumstance: The Turkish Military and Politics” (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001). He is currently completing a modern history of Turkey with a particular focus on the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). The book will be published by Yale University Press in summer 2017.