Meltem Aslan
Executive Director|

Meltem Aslan is one of the founding members and the co-director of Hakikat Adalet Hafıza Merkezi (Hafıza Merkezi, engl. Truth Justice Memory Center). Between 2009 and 2018, simultaneous with the position at Hafıza Merkezi, she was the executive director of Anadolu Kultur. Ms. Aslan received her Master of International Affairs (MIA) degree from Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) as a Turkish Education Foundation (TEV) fellow and her Master of Human Rights degree from the European Inter-University. She received her BA in Business Administration from Bosphorus University in Istanbul. Her master thesis focused on violations of freedom of expression in Turkey in the name of state security. Recently, her area of work has focused on transitional justice, dealing with the past and intercultural dialogue and reconciliation through arts and culture. She has attended conferences and workshops on these topics including the ICTJ’s Cape Town Fellowship on Transitional Justice and gave lectures and seminars at various Turkish universities. In the past 15 years, in addition to these areas, she has also done work related to local governance and women’s rights at TESEV and Kadın Yurttaş Ağı Derneği (KAYA) respectively.

Murat Çelikkan
Advocacy Director |

Murat Çelikkan has been working as a journalist for the past 25 years in various positions such as reporter, editor, columnist and chief executive editor. Çelikkan has been an active member of the Turkish Human Rights Movement. He was a founding member and has been on the boards of the Human Rights Association, Helsinki Citizens Assembly, Amnesty International and Human Rights Foundation. He has worked on projects related to the Kurdish problem and media ethics., freedom of speech and assembly, refugees, identity politics and peace. Çelikkan is a graduate of Middle East Technical University. He is currently the Co-Director of Truth Justice Memory Center in İstanbul. He is also the producer of two feature films and the documentary Buka Barane. He has received the Civil Rights Defender of the Year 2018 Award and the 2018 International Hrant Dink Award. 

Emel Ataktürk Sevimli
Director of Programs  |

Born in 1963, in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She graduated from Marmara Faculty of Law in 1988. She has been a member of Istanbul Bar Association since 1989. She is a member of and served as board member in civil society organizations like Human Rights Association, Turkey Human Rights Foundation and Helsinki Citizens Assembly. She attended trainings organized by Istanbul Bar Association Women’s Rights Implementation Center, Bosphorus University Center for European Studies and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as a participant and trainer; contributed to some of the publications prepared by these organizations.

Gamze Hızlı
Administrative Director |

Born in Mersin, in 1980. After graduation from Darussafaka High School in Istanbul, she received her BA in Political Sciences from Middle East Technical University (METU). She attended Cultural Studies, MA Program at Istanbul Bilgi University between 2003 and 2005. She has worked at Anadolu Kültür between January 2005 and March 2012 and took part in the development, implementation and reporting of numerous projects. Currently, she is the documentation project coordinator of Hafıza Merkezi.

Memory and Peace Studies 

Noémi Lévy-Aksu
Program Director |

Noémi Lévy-Aksu received her Ph.D in history from the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in 2010. From 2010 to 2017, she was an assistant professor at Boğaziçi University, Department of History and authored a number of academic publications. She received a British Academy fellowship to conduct her research on regimes of exception in Turkey at Birbeck College, School of Law, betwen 2016 and 2018. She completed a Graduate Diploma in Law in London in 2018 and contributed to the legal work of the Democratic Progress Institute and the Redress Trust in 2018-2019. In 2019-2020, she was a fellow of the Stiftung Mercator re:constitution project and she coordinated a capacity-building program led by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Research’ın (CDPR) to strengthen Solidarity Academies in Turkey. She joined Hafıza Merkezi’s team in June 2020.

Mert Koçak 

They completed their PhD in Sociology and Social Anthropology at Central European University (CEU). They received their MSc degree in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and their MA degree in Gender Studies from CEU. Between 2019 and 2021, they worked as a researcher in three research centers: New Europe College (Bucharest), French Research Center in Humanities and Social Sciences (Prague) ve Institute for Human Sciences (Vienna). Between 2020 and 2022, they worked as project coordinators for two projects funded by the US Department of State and the British Council Turkey. They joined Hafıza Merkezi in 2022 and work as project coordinator in the Memory and Peace Studies program.

Merve Bakdur

She completed her undergraduate education at Istanbul University Faculty of Law in 2015. She completed her master’s degree at Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms Bonn University in Germany, where she started in 2018, with her work in Criminal Law within the scope of freedom of expression. During this time she assisted in a children’s rights project in Kenya. She supported the translation of legal texts from German and English to Turkish. She was the project coordinator of the Access to Justice project supported by the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey at the Association for Monitoring Equal Rights in Istanbul. She has been a doctoral student at Istanbul University Social Sciences Institute since 2021. She has been a member of the Istanbul Bar Association since 2020.

Veli Aksoy

Veli Aksoy received his B.A. from Koç University Sociology Department in 2015. Between 2015 and 2017, he was enrolled in the M.A program of Sabancı University Conflict analysis and Resolution Department and worked as a research assistant there. Between 2015 and 2020, he worked with the Istanbul Policy Center and Hrant Dink Foundation. Since 2020, he has been a project coordinator at Hafıza Merkezi, in the Memory and Peace Studies Progam.

Legal Studies

Özlem Zıngıl
Program Director |

Graduated from Marmara University Faculty of Law in 2001. She received her LL.M in Law of Economics from Galatasaray University in 2007 and M.A degree on Cultural Studies Programme from Istanbul Bilgi University in 2011. Currently, she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Law at Istanbul Bilgi University. She has been a member of the Istanbul Bar Association since 2003, since then she has been practicing law. She also worked as a project coordinator and general coordinator in the Transparency International Turkey. She supported the works carried out by the Hrant Dink Foundation and Van Bar Association. Since 2013, she has been contributing to independent collective the Networks of Dispossession.

Esra Kılıç

She graduated from Istanbul University Faculty of Law in 2012. Beside practicing law, she has been practicing in the area of human rights at Lawyers for Freedom Association (ÖHD), Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) and the Human Rights Association (İHD). She has been a member of the Istanbul Bar Association since 2013.

Esma Yaşar

She received her Bachelor of Law from Cyprus International University. Following her studies, she voluntarily and professionally took part in various civil society organizations’ work in the field of human rights. She interned for the Media Legal Defence Initiative in 2022. She has been a board member of the Foundation for Society and Legal Studies (TOHAV) since 2021. After having worked at the Association for Monitoring Equal Rights between 2019 and 2022, she joined the team at Hafıza Merkezi in February 2023. She has been a member of the Istanbul Bar Association since 2018.

İdil Özcan

She graduated from Koç University Law School and earned her master’s degree from the London School of Economics. During her studies, she completed traineeships at various non-governmental organisations and the European Court of Human Rights. After having worked as a legal counsel, she joined the team at Hafıza Merkezi in June 2022. She has been a member of the Istanbul Bar Association since 2020.

Supporting Human Rights Defenders and Organizations

Burcu Bingöllü

Born in 1978 in Ankara. She has graduated from Communication Faculty of Ankara University, and has experience in journalism and publication work, as well as in academy and civil society through her involvement in a number of research and EU funded projects. Since 2015 she is a member of the Hafıza Merkezi‘s Dissemination and Advocacy Program. Today she’s working as project officer in Supporting Human Rights Defenders or Organizations program of Hafıza Merkezi.

Esin E. 

Received her B.A. from Çankaya University, Department of Political Science and International Relations in 2013. She took part in various projects regarding gender at academic institutions and NGOs during her studies. She has continued her working life in the field of civil society, working in various positions in the fields of gender, prisons and immigration. She joined the Hafıza Merkezi team in November 2022.

Balacan Ayar
Haklara Destek Communications Officer |

Received her B.A. from Boğaziçi University Sociology Department and her M.A. from Koç University Comparative Studies in History and Society Program and Central European University University Gender Studies Department. Between 2019-2022, she worked as the communication coordinator at Civic Space Studies Association. She is currently working as the communications officer of the Haklara Destek program at Hafıza Merkezi.

Cahide Sarı
Haklara Destek Field Officer | 

She received her B.A. in Economics from Middle East Technical University and is currently a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at Ankara University. She has worked in the fields of human rights, social policy, gender equality and refugee rights in various positions in organizations such as SES, Amnesty International, UNFPA and IMAP. She also continues to work voluntarily in various right-based organizations. She joined the Hafıza Merkezi team in December 2022 as a field officer for the Haklara Destek program.

Eda Köse
Haklara Destek Field Officer |

She graduated from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Department of Sociology. She’s been working in the fields of human rights, volunteerism, and youth studies since 2015 and assumed various positions at organizations like Yücel Cultural Foundation, Young Lives Foundation and Community Volunteers Foundation (TOG). She took part in capacity building programs for CSOs at the Center for Civil Society Studies at Bilgi University in 2020. She was also the teaching assistant for the course titled “Project Development and Proposal Writing Techniques” in the same university’s Social Projects and NGO Management M.A. Program. She joined the Hafıza Merkezi team in December 2022 as a field officer for the Haklara Destek program.

Hilal Başak Demirbaş
Haklara Destek Field Officer | 

She received her BA and MA degrees from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Department of Sociology. She took part in various field researches on labor, urban studies, queer theory, masculinity, disability, and work life during her studies. She assumed various positions at Social Policies, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation Studies Association (SPoD) between 2013 and 2017. She worked at the Civil Society in the Penal System (CİSST) between 2015 and 2022 in various positions such as board member, project coordinator, monitoring and evaluation coordinator. At CİSST, she had the opportunity to work with LGBTI+ and foreign inmates. She joined the Hafıza Merkezi team in December 2022 as a field officer for the Haklara Destek program.

Hülya Kurt
Haklara Destek Project Manager |

Graduate of METU Business Administration. For many years, she worked in various positions in the field of information technology such as solution and software sales, operations manager, bid and proposal manager and project manager. She is experienced in cross sector, especially banking IT solutionsAs of February 2019, she works as a project manager at the Haklara Destek program at Hafıza Merkezi.

Koray Löker
Haklara Destek IT Specialist |

Koray Löker graduated from Bilkent University in 2004 and has a master’s degree in Media and Visual Studies (2008) from the same university. He has worked at several universities and publishing houses before co-founding Kara Plak Publishing house in 2016. He volunteered and worked for different civil society organizations’ technical capacity development processes.

Merve Nebioğlu
Haklara Destek Finance Coordinator |

Received her B.A. from Galatasaray University Sociology Department and her M.A. from Sabancı University Cultural Studies Program and Galatasaray University Sociology Department. Between 2016- 2021 she worked as the program coordinator at Hrant Dink Foundation’s Asulis Discourse, Dialogue, Democracy Laboratory. She is currently working as the finance coordinator of the Haklara Destek program at Hafıza Merkezi.

Özkan Bulut
Haklara Destek Financial and Administrative Assistant |

Received his B.A. in Business Administration from Anadolu University. He worked as an accountant and a financial manager for certified public accountant offices and various private companies between 2003 – 2015. He was the administrative and financial manager of the History Foundation between 2015 – 2018, and assumed the position of financial controller for Hrant Dink Foundation’s Empowering CSOs Grant Programme between 2019 – 2022. He is the financial and administrative assistant of the Haklara Destek program at Hafıza Merkezi since September 2022.

Zozan Bilge
Haklara Destek Field Officer | 

She received her B.A. and M.A. from Yüzüncü Yıl University Department of Sociology. Her master’s thesis was on gender studies. She worked as a field coordinator and monitoring and evaluation officer for various civil society organizations that work with Kurdish women, minorities, and migrant women in Diyarbakır, Van and Istanbul. She joined the Hafıza Merkezi team in December 2022 as a field officer for the Haklara Destek program.

Kerem Çiftçioğlu
Communications and Campaigns |

Received his B.A. in Social and Political Sciences from Sabancı University (2004), and his M.A. on Theory and Practice of Human Rights from Essex University (2006). His master thesis focused on ‘user fees’ as health-care policy instrument Vis-à-vis the right to health. Prior to joining Hafıza Merkezi in 2014, Ciftcioglu has worked for 4 years in Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly in capacities of fund raising, project development and coordination. He has been actively involved in non-profit work both professionally and voluntarily. He is also a member of hCa. He is currently the Communications and Campaigns Director at Hafıza Merkezi.

Ece Koçak
Communications and Campagins |

Received her B.A. in Comparative Literature from Koç University and her M.A. in Cultural Studies from Sabancı University. Prior to her work in civil society, she held various jobs as a reporter, editor and translator. She worked as the Projects and Communications Coordinator for Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) between 2019 and 2021 where she ran projects that advocated freedom of speech, right to information, digital freedoms and rule of law. She joined the Hafıza Merkezi team in August 2021 as the Communications Coordinator.

Olcay Özer
Fund Raising and Project Development |

Received her B.A. from Galatasaray University Philosophy Department and her M.A. from Sabancı University Cultural Studies Program. Between 2010- 2016 she worked as program assistant than coordinator at Sabancı University’s Gender and Women’s Studies Center’s “the Purple Certificate Program” conducted under “The United Nation Joint Program to Promote and Protect Human Rights of Women and Girls”. Between 2016-2019 she worked as program manager at TEGV’s Educational Programs Department. She is currently working as the training officer of the Haklara Destek program at Hafıza Merkezi.

Tuğçe Ercan
Administration and Financing | 

She graduated from the Department of Business Administration at Gazi University and Department of Labor Economics and Industrial Relations at Anadolu University. She has experience in financial and administrative works and she has been a certified public accountant since 2015. In order to support woman solidarity and being a part of feminist struggle, she has worked for Mor Çatı Women’s Shelter’s secreteria. After that she joined to Hafıza Merkezi in 2020.