Office of the CEO

Kerim is an expert in conflict resolution, peacebuilding, international human rights law and minority rights, having worked on numerous projects in these areas over his career. He was formerly co-founder and Chief Executive of the Kurdish Human Rights Project. Kerim has received a number of awards, including from the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights for his services to protect human rights and promote the rule of law in 1996, and the Sigrid Rausing Trust’s Human Rights award for Leadership in Indigenous and Minority Rights in 2005. Kerim is also a recipient of the 2011 Gruber Prize for Justice. He has extensive experience in human rights and actively works to raise awareness on human rights violations worldwide assisting with many cases to the European Court of Human Rights, conducting training seminars in Europe and the Middle East, and regularly contributing to seminars and conferences. Kerim has also written extensively on human rights issues, including numerous essays, articles and chapters on freedom of expression, national security and minority rights, as well as books relating to the European Convention, the United Nations and OSCE mechanisms. He has written books on the Kurds in Iraq, Iran, Syria, the Caucuses, Turkey and the diaspora and he has most recently co-authored ‘The Kurdish Conflict: International Humanitarian Law and Post Conflict Mechanisms’ (Routledge, 2010). His work has been translated into numerous languages, including Turkish, Finnish, German, Spanish, Russian, Kurdish, Arabic and Persian. Kerim also serves as a Board Member and Advisor to other human rights and environmental organisations and is an advisor to the Delfina Foundation. Kerim is a member of English PEN and is a founding member of Ara Pacis Initiative.

Programmes Team

Katya joined DPI in January 2020 as Programme Officer. She holds a BA in Social Sciences (main areas of focus Anthropology and Sociology) from University College Utrecht and a MA in Conflict Resolution in Divided Societies from King’s College London. Her academic work mainly focused on militarization of education in Turkey and the relationship between public space and collective memory in the Middle East. Katya previously did internships at Agos Newspaper and the Truth, Justice and Memory Center in Istanbul. She is fluent in Turkish, English and Dutch.

Zeynep Ardıç holds a BA in law from Ankara University. She concluded her lawyer internship at Ankara Bar Association. She received an LLM from University of Warwick in the “International Development Law and Human Rights” program. The title of her thesis was “Decolonial Option in the North Caucasus”. She completed her PhD in February 2019 at University of Sussex with a thesis titled “Searching for Transitional Justice Mechanisms in the Kurdish Question in Turkey: addressing violations of social, economic and cultural rights”. Her research interests include human rights, democracy and development, with a focus on transitional justice, socioeconomic rights and forced migration.

Ali Bayramoğlu  is a writer and political commentator. Since 1994, he has contributed as a columnist for a variety of newspapers. He is currently a columnist for the Daily Karar. He is a member of the Wise Persons Committee in Turkey, established during the peace process between 2013 and 2015

Professor Dr Sevtap Yokuş  is a Law Faculty Member at İstanbul Altinbas University in the Department of Constitutional Law. She holds a PhD in Public Law from the Faculty of Law, Istanbul University, awarded in 1995 for her thesis which assessed the state of emergency regime in Turkey with reference to the European Convention on Human Rights. She is a widely published expert in the areas of Constitutional Law and Human Rights and has multiple years’ experience of working as a university lecturer at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral level. She also has experience of working as a lawyer in the European Court of Human Rights.

Dieu Nguyen has worked in the UK not-for-profit sector managing Finance and Funding Development for the past 10 years. Prior to that she worked in Vietnam and Australia in the banking sector. In her current role as Finance Manager at DPI, Dieu works closely with the Board of Directors to recommend and implement improvements to financial policies and procedures, IT systems and facilities. Dieu has extensive experience of managing multiple complex international grants those are funded by European Commission; United Nations; Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Netherlands; Government of Ireland; The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs etc.

Finance, Fundraising and Development Team

James Pleace has been working for DPI since June 2023 as the Funding and Development Officer. He is a graduate of Cardiff University for his undergraduate BSC in Politics and International Relations and Durham University for his MA in International Relations (East Asia). James' academic work has focused on Himalayan politics ranging from Identity in Policy to Gender in Conflict and Peacebuilding. 

Legal Team

Saniye has been working with DPI since 2011. She is a graduate of Dicle University Law Faculty in Turkey. Between 2000 and 2006 she practiced as a lawyer in the areas of criminal and human rights law in Diyarbakir, Turkey. During this time she also participated in numerous voluntary activities of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, the Contemporary Lawyers Association and the Human Rights Association’s Diyarbakir branch. After completing an LL.M. in Human Rights at Birkbeck College, University of London, in 2007 Saniye worked at the Kurdish Human Rights Project as a Legal Associate until 2011. She is a researcher at the International State Crime Initiative where she was involved in a project titled ‘Civil Society Resistance to State Violence and Corruption-Comparative Study’. She has also contributed to, a website dedicated to monitoring cases opened against perpetrators of crimes committed by state security officers in Turkey.

Operations Team

Akinola Williams joined DPI in March 2019 as the Operations Manager with 20 years law, training, recruitment and management experience. He has worked in legal private practice and the Nigerian Ministry of Justice as well as RG World (Also trading as Rail Gourmet UK Ltd)