I was born and raised in Antakya, a diverse and multilingual southern province of Turkey on the Mediterranean Sea. I graduated from the Department of Social Work, Faculty of Health Sciences at Ankara University in 2012. I hold a master’s degree in Social Work, and I am a Ph.D. candidate in Social Policy. My main research areas are the prevention of trafficking in human beings, trafficking of children, child protection, and social policies. My Ph.D. dissertation, which I’m currently preparing, is titled “Social Protection Policies for Children in Italy and Turkey: A Comparative Analysis”. I speak English, German, and Arabic. I am a trained social worker, a family counselor, and a psychodrama-group therapist.
I have worked on a voluntary basis for ECPAT Turkey/Turkish Network Against CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children) as Secretary-General and Youth Coordinator for eight years. During my time with the organization, I developed group structures for children and youth, played a facilitating role in campaigns and projects, and took part in international studies. I hold an award for the protection of children from trafficking, granted by the Swedish organization Child 10 (http://child10.org/news/the-2020-child-10-award).
For the last seven years, I worked as a full-time research assistant at the Department of Social Work, Faculty of Health Sciences, Kocaeli University. I give undergraduate lectures on “Theories of Social Work”, “Group Social Work and Group Psychotherapies”, “Working with Abused Children”, “Child Protection Policies”, “Social Policy”, “Working with Refugees and Migrants” and, “Social Gender Inequalities”.
I have been employed as a freelance project expert with different stakeholders. Last year, I worked with ICMPD Turkey as a National Expert, developing and implementing six training sessions on “Combating Human Trafficking” for social workers and psychologists who work at Women’s Shelters and Monitoring and Prevention Centres for Violence Against Women of the Ministry of Family and Social Policies located throughout Turkey. Also last year, I worked closely with UN Turkey Country Team as an individual consultant developing a Common Country Assessment report.
I was engaged by UNICEF several times as an Individual Consultant/Project Expert. I worked on the development of a Guidebook for Probation Experts who are Working with Children who Committed Sexual Offences and implemented training for probation experts on Working with Sex Offenders. I carried out field research among NGOs who provide services for refugee children and wrote the research analysis report. I developed a Guidebook on Child Protection and Case Management for Syrian Refugee Children and implemented training for the social workers and psychologists who work for the Social Service Centres of the Ministry of Family and Social Policies throughout Turkey with Syrian refugee children. I also, developed a “Standard Operational Procedures, Guidebook and Tools” for RET International/Turkey Chapter NGO social workers who work with Syrian refugee children at risk.
I am a trained Anti-Trafficking Expert. I attended OSCE’s Simulation-Based Training on Human Trafficking Along Migration Routes” in 2017. Last year in September 2019, I facilitated the Simulation-based Training on Combating Trafficking of Human Beings along Migration Routes, in Vicenza, Italy. I also attended a roundtable meeting with OSCE and ECPAT International as an adviser on the preparation of SOP of Combating Child Trafficking.