Rights in Exile Programme

Refugee Legal Aid Information for Lawyers Representing Refugees Globally

Turkey - COI

Bill Bowring

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

Professor Bowring is a legal academic and practising barrister with experience in the Former Soviet Union (FSU), and Turkey. He is a 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 courses in international minority rights and “Taking a case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)”, as well as other courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level in international law and human rights. He has more than 150 publications including two books and is fluent in Russian. He participated in 1992 in the founding of the Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP). Until 2012 when KHRP was closed, he took many cases against Turkey to the ECtHR. He was founder in 2003 and still active in the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC) taking a large number of cases against Russia and other FSU countries. He regularly provides expert evidence concerning these countries in asylum appeals and extradition cases, mostly Legal Aid (publicly funded). In all this work he complies with the Nairobi Code.

Dr Rebwar Fatah

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

Dr Rebwar Fatah is the Director of the Middle East Consultancy Services. Dr Fatah has produced thousands of COI reports since he began working as an expert witness in 2000. In the past four years alone, Dr Fatah has produced 1,136 Expert Reports on the Middle East. These include:
706 Country Expert Reports
340 Document Authentication Reports
90 Nationality Reports

Dr Fatah’s reports have been commissioned for and cited in a number of immigration appeals, as well as family and criminal cases.  Moreover, he has assessed a large number of people from the Middle East whose nationality, native language, ethnicity, place of residence has been disputed, and has examined thousands of documents from the MENA region. In addition to a deep knowledge of the region’s administrative and bureaucratic cultures, Dr Fatah’s multilingual proficiencies enable him to understand, interpret and evaluate official documents in the Middle East. As a part of this work, Dr Fatah has produced his own methodology for document authentications and nationality examinations.

Dr Fatah has also provided written and oral evidence in court; among them are five Country Guidance Cases, two Turkish extradition orders and many other cases. Moreover, Dr Fatah has also reviewed and provided guidance on Home Office CPIN reports

Dr Fatah 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 the general security situation, sufficiency of protection, crimes of honour, healthcare, corruption, 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: tokuzluatgmail [dot] com

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 Elise Massicard

Email: elise [dot] massicardatsciencespo [dot] fr

Dr. Elise Massicard is a senior 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, sociology of state, policy studies, state-society relations, 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).

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 Institute for Security and Development Policy in Stockholm and the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, and a consulting member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London. 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 book on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which will be published by Routledge in 2021.

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