We have maintained cooperation with institutions in Turkey since 1996, initiating more permanent cooperation in 2007 around human rights education for justice sector institutions, universities and NGOs. Read more about our work in Turkey.
Advisors in Istanbul
Ilhami Alkan Olsson
Ilhami has a Masters degree in International Human Rights Law (2002) from Lund University, and a PhD (2007) from Kent University (UK). He was awarded post-doctoral grant from the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS) about international climate change regime at SOAS, London University. He was lecturer at Istanbul University for nearly 8 years.
Before joining RWI as consultant in 2017, Ilhami also acted as lecturer and mentor for SIDA-financed Lund University programme on children’s education rights and Swedish Institute-financed Lund University programme on the impacts of digitalisation on human rights.
Sebnem Kenis joined RWI in 2016 as Programme Officer responsible for gender mainstreaming and results-based management in RWI’s Turkey Human Rights Capacity Development Programme. In 2018, she was appointed as the Gender and Human Rights Advisor and began working with RWI’s regional and country programmes and partners around the world. In her current capacity as the Senior Policy Advisor, she leads RWI’s gender equality work and provides gender and human rights related expertise, advice and guidance to RWI’s regional and country programs. Before joining RWI, she had worked in the sectors of market research, public relations, and non-governmental organizations in Turkey. Her professional expertise also includes monitoring and evaluation, results-based management, capacity development of NGOs, and lobbying and advocacy (for youth rights and policy, gender equality, sexual and reproductive rights). She was appointed as the Gender Equality Rapporteur of the Council of Europe’s Joint Council on Youth in 2016 and maintained this position until the end of 2016. Sebnem holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Koc University, Istanbul.
Sebnem Kenis is currently on leave, carrying out a research project in Edinburgh.
Bahar Özden Cosgun
Bahar has been working as a Programme Advisor at RWI, mainly responsible for Human Rights Cities and local governments since 2018.
Before joining RWI she worked for the National Association of Local Authorities of Turkey, responsible for international projects. She is involved in local authority capacity building projects with the Council of Europe, UNDP and local government associations of Sweden (SALAR), Netherlands (VNG), Germany and Spain on good governance, local economic development, leadership, citizen engagement and gender equality.
She conducted the secretariat for the national delegation of the Council of Europe Congress of Local and Regional Authorities between 2008-2015, Strasbourg. Bahar also worked as a Program Manager in Çankaya Municipality in Ankara between 2015-2018.
She holds a BA in Political Science and Public Administration from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara.
Betül Yılmaz has been working at RWI since August 2018. She holds a degree in Turkish Literature and Languages from Hacettepe University and is currently studying International Trade and Logistics Management.
Prior to her current position, Betül worked as a teacher in Ankara and as an Events Management Director in Istanbul.