İlkem holds two master degrees one being LLM on International Human Rights Law at University of Essex and another MA on Political Science at Bilkent University . Throughout her career she worked on human rights law. From 2000 to 2008 she worked with Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a human rights lawyer. Her duty stations were Ankara, Turkey and Strasbourg, France. Between 2008 to 2011 she worked with the European Court of Human Rights as a lawyer in Strasbourg. In addition she worked as a lecturer on international human rights law at Yeditepe University, İstanbul and as a tutor at Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) Programme of Council of Europe.