Ayşe Betül Çelik is a full professor, teaching conflict analysis and resolution, and political science at Sabanci University in Istanbul. She received her Ph.D. in political science from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 2002. She has been a visiting scholar in the American University (2009) and the University of Sydney (2013). Her work focuses on ethnicity, forced migration, reconciliation, civil society, and gender in peacebuilding and peacemaking. She is also trained in dialogue, UNSCR 1325 NAP writing, problem-solving workshops, negotiation, and conflict mapping. She served as a consultant to several civil society organizations on gender and peace, and is a founding member of Peace Foundation, and Center for Excellence for Women and Gender Studies at Sabancı University. She teaches conflict resolution, and gender equality to civil society, private companies, and public schools. As a founding member of the Turkish antenna of the MWMN, Prof. Çelik actively works for teaching gender-sensitive mediation, and organizes conflict resolution dialogue groups among diverse group of women in Turkey.
Dilara Gök is one of the founders of Conflictus Training and Consultancy. She has been working in the discrimination, conflict resolution, mediation and peacebuilding fields for almost 7 years with many national and international organizations such as GIZ, UNHCR, RET International and etc. in Turkey. Currently, she has developed training programs, new modules, approaches and practical solutions in the conflict resolution field by engaging with social and disadvantaged groups, as a trainer. Together with this, after the Syrian crisis, she has also been working on social cohesion by handling this issue under the umbrella of conflict resolution tools. In this context, she has developed and applied trainings by working with both local and international organizations in cities which have intense Syrian population. In addition to this, she had worked as a program coordinator of the Young Mediators Program which was implemented under the support of U.S. Embassy in Istanbul. Now, Dilara is one of the founding member of the Turkish Antenna of The MWMN. Also, since 2016, she has been working as victim-offender mediator in Istanbul Courthouse. She is also trained in Women in Conflict 1325 Fellowship Program. https://tr.linkedin.com/in/dilaragok
Edita Tahiri is a key founder and leader of the movement for independence of Kosovo. She was Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs for ten years during the hard times of Kosovo’s liberation (1990-2000), Minister of Dialogue, Minister of Public Administration, Peace Negotiator and Member of Parliament in five terms.
She has a long-standing experience in foreign policy and security, international relations, conflict resolution, international peace negotiations and post-conflict transitions. She is a distinguished peace negotiator and chief negotiator for Kosovo and the Balkan region with about 30 years’ experience. She is recognized as the only woman peace negotiator in the Balkans participating in the international peace processes such as the Rambouillet International Peace Conference on Kosovo (1999), Pre-Rambouillet Peace Negotiation (1998), London Conference on Disintegration of Former Yugoslavia (1992) and Chief Negotiator of Kosovo at the EU facilitated Dialogue on normalization of neighborly relations between Kosovo and Serbia (2011-2017). As the Chief Negotiator of Kosovo in the EU mediated peace talks with Serbia, she is the signatory of first ever-reached agreement between Kosovo and Serbia, after 20 years of peace talks.
She is dedicated to empowerment of women and WPS agenda and has been serving as Chair of the Regional Women’s Lobby in South East Europe for the past 14 years. She is a member of the Women Waging Peace Network.
She is a graduate of Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a major in international relations. She holds a PhD in Political Sciences focused in the international state-building from Prishtina University in cooperation with SAIS Johns Hopkins University. She is a Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.
Elif Kalan is a freelance consultant on conflict analysis and resolution, peacebuilding and community-based programs and initiatives with extensive experience working with international organisations, such as GIZ, UN agencies, the European Commission, IMC and Ret International. Recently, she consulted for UN Women Turkey in Gender Sensitive Refugee Response Program working with Syrian and host communities on gender in complex emergencies and conflict as well as on mitigation through local mediation practices and social cohesion approach. She has also organised trainings and workshops in numerous universities. She is a co-founder of Conflictus Consultancy on Conflict Resolution in Turkey where she has designed, maintained, developed and delivered several training programs and projects to boost the skills and knowledge of groups particularly on conflict resolution and community-based mediation. She has been active within the MWMN Turkey antenna since the beginning and has co-conducted a gender sensitive mediation training program titled ‘Women and Mediation’ reaching out to women working extensively in refugee response programs at CSOs and local authorities. She is highly motivated and interested in women and youth leadership in conflict resolution and mediation processes at all levels and in developing tailor-made and specific training programs through using gender-sensitive and youth and women-specific mediation methods. She holds an MA in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Sabanci University in Istanbul and an MSc in Political Sociology from London School of Economics with Jean-Monnet scholarship as is part of the Women in Conflict 1325 Fellowship Program and the Legislative Fellowship Program supported by the US State Department.
Emine Çolak is a Turkish Cypriot lawyer/barrister practicing in Nicosia since 1982, specializing in human rights. For 25 years, she has trained in and used mediation and negotiation skills professionally and in activism. She is member of several cross community dialogue groups for reconciliation and reunification focusing on tangible ways to resolve the frozen conflict. She coordinated Committees negotiating laws attached to the comprehensive solution proposal, the Annan Plan in 2004. As a co-founder and head of the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation for 10 years, she worked to elevate the standard of human rights in her community through awareness raising, reporting and legal challenges also contributing to the formation of the Immoveable Property Commission to solve property disputes pending a solution. She speaks fluent Turkish and English and reasonable French. During 2015 and 2016 she served as the Foreign Minister of her community. She considers her expertise to be in conflict dynamics arising after independence in former colonies with communities clashing over ethnic/linguistic differences believing that reinforcing human rights is an essential tool for overcoming disputes within and between communities. Being dedicated to achieving gender equality and the effective participation of women in all fields of life and governance she regards the absence of enough women and gender sensitivity peace processes is clearly a major cause of the limited success of many of them. Consequently, she is now a member of the Women Mediators Across the Commonwealth and the Mediterranean Women Mediators networks, and co-founder of its Cyprus Antenna.
Jeta Krasniqi serves as a project manager at the Kosovo Democratic Institute (KDI) since 2016, focusing on the negotiations between Kosovo and Serbia by working with the parliament to strengthen oversight, transparency and accountability of the process. In addition to inciting internal social and political dialogue through meetings of relevant stakeholders with citizens and civil society, and research analysis. Mrs. Krasniqi is engaged by UN Women as an International Consultant on Prevention and Response to Conflict related sexual violence in Ukraine. At the same time, Mrs. Krasniqi is the deputy chair of the Governmental Commission for the Verification and Recognition of Conflict-related sexual violence victims during the War, representing civil society.
Previously, Mrs. Krasniqi served as Political Advisor to the President of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga, where she was engaged in the field of foreign policy, promotion of human rights and gender equality. Mrs. Krasniqi was the Coordinator of the National Council for Survivors of Sexual Violence during the War established by the then President of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga. Mrs. Krasniqi has a long-standing commitment to civil society organizations in advancing the role of women in society in Kosovo and Albania. Jeta Krasniqi graduated in International Affairs at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and finished her undergraduate studies in International Relations at Eastern Mediterranean University in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Krasniqi is a board member of the Kosovo Women’s Network and the Kosovo American Educational Fund (KAEF).
Layık Topcan Mesutoğlu is a town planner with over 40 years of experience. She graduated from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara. After 36 years of serving in the Town Planning Department of Northern Cyprus she retired as deputy director of the department. Currently, she serves as a consultant on planning and environmental issues. She is a member of the High Committee of Historical and Cultural Heritage. During 2015 – 2020, she was involved in the Cyprus peace negotiations as a member of the Turkish Cypriot Property Working Group.
She has trained in historic preservation, strategic planning and management, sustainable development, gender policies in development planning, and EU environmental acquis. She is a trained mediator and a facilitator.
Ms. Topcan Mesutoğlu has been active in civil society in women, environment, and peace. She has been actively working for the achievement of the goals of sustainable development, environmental protection, historical and cultural heritage conservation, gender equality, and peace.
Ms. Topcan Mesutoğlu regards the absence of gender sensitivity and effective participation of women in peace processes as one of the major constraints preventing success in many conflict prevention and resolution efforts. She considers achieving gender equality and justice, the participation of women in decision-making in all fields of life as a vital element for a sustainable future.
Her strong belief and dedication in the empowerment of women, lead her to join the Mediterranean Women Mediators family and even further motivated her to be one of the co-initiators of MWMN Cyprus Antenna, to strengthen the role of women as active change agents in peace-building, environmental protection and all other areas of life.
Özge Özoğul is the Operations Officer of the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR), a multi-communal civil society organization that plays a role in the peacebuilding process in Cyprus through education. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in the Basque Country in the Doctoral Program ‘Education: School, Language and Society’. She is from Nicosia, Cyprus, and graduated from the University of Southampton, the United Kingdom. She received her M.A. degree from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, in Multilingualism with a specialization in Multilingual Education and Language Policy Planning. She had opportunities to enhance her knowledge and skills in peacebuilding and mediation further through her position at the AHDR and attending trainings, which encouraged her to connect with mediators and be actively engaged in mediation. She became a member of the MWMN in order to learn with and from members; to give visibility to women’s voices locally, regionally and internationally; advocate for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions; and to strengthen collaboration between WPS and YPS agendas. One of her values is reflection which contributes to her being an effective practitioner, and nurtures responsibility, creativity and advancement. Through her position, she plays an active role in crafting and implementing educational interventions that i) promote dialogue, cooperation and trust between different communities in Cyprus, and within each community; ii) foster critical thinking, multi-perspectivity and historical understanding; and iii) provide spaces for inquiry and peer to peer learning. She also facilitates peace education workshops.
Esra Çuhadar is an associate professor at the Department of Political Science at Bilkent University in Turkey and a senior fellow at the Inclusive Peace and Transition Initiative in Geneva. Previously a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, and a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, she also worked at Sabancı University, Istanbul. She received her M.A, Ph.D. and an advanced graduate certificate in applied conflict resolution from Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. She has been published widely in top academic journals and in over twenty book chapters and has won numerous research grants on inclusive peace processes, mediation, track two diplomacy and role of civil society in peacebuilding, evaluation of peacebuilding, negotiation pedagogy, and political leadership. She has also conducted numerous trainings and consultations in negotiation and mediation processes for various groups and organizations around the world. She has been working as a regional mediator for the World Bank in Turkey and Caucasus since 2011 and in the mediation roster of the OSCE since 2015. She was elected as a member of the International Society for Political Psychology Governing Council (2010-2012) and also served as a board member of the European Mediation Network Initiative between 2007 and 2010. She is a core member of the MWNM and the MWMN Turkey antenna launched in 2019 as it allows her to share mediation expertise with other women and act in solidarity to face challenges to women’s inclusion in peace processes.