Mediators of Turkey
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.
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.
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.
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
Yakin Ertürk is Emerita Professor of Sociology, Middle East Technical University, Ankara. Her professional experience in conflict related matters is within the context of international human rights monitoring mandates, including special rapporteur on violence against women and member of commissions of inquiry on human rights violations in two conflict zones: Independent International Commission of Inquiry of the June 2010 events in the Republic of Kyrgyzstan (Oct. 2010-April 2011); member of the International Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syrian Arab Republic of the UN Human Rights Council (12 Sept. 2011-23 March 2012). In this respect, she has worked in diverse geographies, with particular interest in El Salvador, Guatemala, Afghanistan, DRC and the Middle East. Her forthcoming article: ‘Peace and Security Agenda’, Conflict, Peace and Development Journal, addresses peace processes and the women, peace and security agenda. She joined the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network as it provides a platform for contributing to negotiated approach to the conflict in Turkey and the ME region, for making women negotiators available nationally and globally.
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.