Ugur Tok is a pro-democracy activist and academic publishing business person. His foremost aim is to restore western standards plural democracy in Turkey which he thinks only possible through a functioning, efficient and independent judiciary. He studied MA at Newcastle University and PhD at Trinity College Dublin. He worked at Queens University Belfast where served as a member of the Belfast City Council Good Relations Partnership in Northern Ireland. He gave interviews to FOXNEWS, BBC, EL PAIS and other press also delivered many speeches at organisations like OSCE, United Nations, European Parliament on Turkey matters. He writes opinion pieces at Indexsensorship, EuropeanInterest and for several media outlets.
Leighann Spencer is a criminologist, writer, and activist. Her interests include vigilantism, identity, conflict, and state accountability in Africa and Turkey. She has written extensively on these topics for the likes of Vocal Europe, African Arguments, and The Conversation. She previously worked on anti-vigilantism initiatives and police accountability with a NGO in Cape Town, South Africa, before undertaking a solo study on vigilantism there. She obtained degrees in criminology and psychology at Deakin University and is now a PhD candidate at Charles Sturt University, where she is researching the role of territory and identity in Nigerian vigilantism and state complicity.
Hilal Akdeniz is a junior researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the Goethe University Frankfurt. Her main topics are gender, flight and migration. She is currently researching biographical narratives of refugees on identity and affiliation. She works as a freelance journalist and a speaker at the intercultural council in Darmstadt.
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Hannah Machlin is a human rights advocate with thematic expertise on freedom of expression. A bilingual Russian and English speaker, Hannah has extensive editorial and management experience gained in Europe, Russia and the U.S. She was previously a project manager at Index on Censorship, where she focused on press freedom in Europe and the former Soviet Union. She holds a double Master's degree the from University College London and the Higher School of Economics in Russia.
Polyxeni is a political analyst. She holds a BA in Political Science from Panteion University, Greece and a MA in European Studies with specialization on EU External Relations from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. Her focus is: EU enlargement of the Western Balkans and the democratization process of those countries. She also shows a strong academic interest in Human Rights, Rule of Law, Political Parties and related fields.
Rumeysa earned bachelor degree at Bilkent University Faculty of Law in Turkey where she took international law and European law courses and completed her internships in Turkish Constitutional Court and Directorate General For International Law and Foreign Relations. She has recently graduated from Maastricht University Faculty of Law and she completed Globalization and Law master program, in the field of International Human Rights Law. Her master thesis focused on "Pre-Trial Detention in Turkey", in which she has assessed the existing legal standards of ECtHR and Turkish law by reviewing the existing lacunas in Turkey with the reference to Şahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan cases.
José Miguel Rocha is graduated in Journalism from the University of Porto (Portugal) and did his MA in History, International Relations and Cooperation. In 2016, José did voluntary work with Syrian refugees in Turkey and then he worked at an Ankara based think-tank, SASAM. There he made extensive researches on Turkish foreign policy, Turkish communities living in Europe, religious minority communities in Turkey, the relations between Turkey and the EU and its countries, etc. He truly believes that liberal democracy is a cause worth fighting for.
Berfin Altinisik completed her Master’s degree (cum laude) in Law at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), where she opted for a specialization in International and European Law. Her thesis is on transitional justice, with a main focus on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Berfin has a great interest in human rights law as well as international humanitarian law. Before joining the Platform for Peace and Justice, she held positions at “Just Rights”, a human rights law firm based in Brussels and “Lellos P. Demetriades Law Firm” which specializes in – among other branches of law – human rights Law. She also held a position at the Belgian Red Cross - Flanders.
Zoe McGowan is a European Affairs Master’s student at the School of Public Affairs at Sciences Po, Paris. Her areas of interests are social and global inequality, justice and sustainability. She has specialist knowledge in gender and class issues as well as the inner-workings of the European institutions. After working on European projects at local level, she believes in the positive power and duty of the European Union to promote justice and democracy in the wider world.
Prof Johnston McMaster served as lecturer and co-ordinator of the Education for Reconciliation programme, Irish School of Ecumenics, Belfast. Johnston has been involved in the development of a community education programme for Northern Ireland and the Border Counties.He has also been engaged as consultant with statutory and voluntary sectors in Northern Ireland and chairs a number of initiatives as well as working collaboratively with community relations networks. His areas of interest and on-going research include reconciliation and peacebuilding, socio-political hermeneutics. He makes programmes for BBC4,
Barbaros is a public figure in Turkey and known in Brussels milieu. He is a fashion designer, an LGBT rights advocate and an anti-war activist. He studied Business Management at Marmara University and mastered in design and chromatics at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, before becoming an apprentice to prominent fashion designer Yıldırım Mayruk. He made TV programmes, authored several books and lectured about the history of fashion at Marmara University and Ankara Baskent University.
Simon Brandenburger has been a supporter of gay rights for many years. He is an antiquarian book dealer. He was formerly Head of Bonhams Book Department, and subsequently ran the long-established print dealer Sanders of Oxford. He has helped a number of Palestinian asylum seekers in a private capacity. Indeed, from a very early age he was exposed to social justice issues due to his mother's journalistic career, which particularly focused on this theme. At present, he regularly volunteers at a drop-in for asylum seekers at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London.