Who are the Büyükada trial defendants?
Top row (left to right): Nalan Erkem, İlknur Üstün, Veli Acu, Peter Steudtner
Middle row (left to right): Idil Eser, Ali Gharavi, Nejat Taştan, Şeyhmus Özbekli,
Bottom row (left to right): Günal Kurşun, Özlem Dalkıran, Taner Kılıç
Nalan Erkem is a lawyer. She was a member of the board of directors of the İzmir Bar Association from 2002-2004 when she supported “The Role of Lawyers in the Prevention of Torture” project. As a member of the Citizens’ Assembly she has been undertaking key consultancy roles and served as member of its Board of Directors. She has also been a member of Amnesty International Turkey since its early days in 2001. She undertook many significant human rights projects and has written and published several reports based on her work.
İlknur Üstün graduated from the Ankara University Department of Philosophy. She was the Chair of the Ankara branch of the women’s organization KADER and is actively involved in various women's organizations. She is also the Turkey Coordinator for the European Women's Lobby and the Coordinator of the Women's Coalition. She is working to develop a model for local authorities to integrate sex equality in their practices and striving to change laws to include equality between women and men. She contributes to various academic and other journals on these topics.
Veli Acu studied Political Science and Public Administration, holding a masters degree in human rights. He has been a board member of the Human Rights Agenda Association since 2009, and a member of Amnesty International since 2010. He has held professional positions in a variety of national, international civil society organizations and a UN agency since 2010. Since 2015 he has been working on migration and displacement in south-eastern Turkey.
Peter Steudtner is a freelance trainer on Holistic Security and Nonviolent Conflict Transformation for Human Rights Defenders and Organizations, a documentary photographer and filmmaker from Germany. His engagement in holistic security is currently through the Digital Integrity Fellowship of the Digital Defenders Program of Hivos (The Netherlands) as well as within different training and support programmes of KURVE Wustrow – Centre for Training and Networking on Nonviolent Action (Germany), supporting Human Rights Defenders and organizations globally.
İdil Eser was Director of Amnesty International Turkey at the time of her detention. İdil has worked in established non-governmental organizations in Turkey such as the History Foundation and Citizens' Assembly (then called Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly). She is currently working at the Norwegian Human Rights Centre of the University of Oslo as a guest researcher.
Ali Gharavi is a strategy consultant and writer. After a decade of commercial consulting and software development, he transitioned to leadership roles in the non-profit sector; fostering technology adoption in the torture rehabilitation and prevention sector, as well as directing programs and projects to mainstream strategy, security and sustainability for human rights defenders. Since 2014, Ali has collaborated as an independent consultant with many human rights and development organizations (including Front Line Defenders, Amnesty International, SIDA and Hivos) to foster innovative solutions towards sustaining and securing human rights and development work.
Nejat Taştan is an activist and an advocate for human rights for over 30 years, involved in the management and advisory boards of many human rights and anti-discrimination NGOs. He is a founding member of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey and was assistant secretary general of the Human Rights Association between 2004-2006, of which he still is a board member. He is an expert on race, ethnicity, religious and disability rights, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and the right to a fair trial. He is a founding member and co-ordinator of the Association for Monitoring Equal Rights.
Şeyhmus Özbekli is a lawyer and has been actively involved in human rights in the human rights organization the Rights Initiative and in the Human Rights Centre of the Diyarbakır Bar Association.
Günal Kurşun is a lawyer and an academic. Prior to his dismissal under state of emergency powers, he worked as a lecturer at the Faculty of Law at Çukurova University in Adana, southern Turkey. He is a leading legal academic working on issues including the International Criminal Court (ICC) and hate crimes. He is a member of Amnesty International Turkey and board member and former President of the Human Rights Agenda Association based in İzmir.
Özlem Dalkıran is a writer, translator and activist and long standing and prominent human rights campaigner. She is a founding member, former head of media and former chair of Amnesty International Turkey and a member of Citizens’ Assembly.
Taner Kılıç is a founding member and was the chair of Amnesty International Turkey board at the time of his arrest. He is a lawyer who specialises in refugee law and has been engaged in human rights work in Turkey for decades, including representing the İzmir branch of Mazlumder, a human rights organization, and Mülteci-Der, a refugee rights organization. He is now honorary chair of Amnesty International Turkey.