Dilek Kurban, MA, JD

Dilek Kurban, MA, JD

Stiftung Mercator-IPC Fellow | Belin, Germany

  • German Institute for International and Security Affairs

Former Director of the Democratization Program, Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation

Dilek Kurban received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, and Master in International Affairs (MIA) from the  School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. She received her J.D. degree from Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar.

Between 1999 and 2001, she worked as an associate political affairs officer at the Security Council Division of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs in New York. Having received the 2004 Columbia Rights Fellowship, she was a visiting researcher at the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) in Istanbul and the European Center for Minority Issues in Germany.  Kurban joined TESEV as a program officer in 2005 and became the Director of the Democratization Program in 2011.  Having relocated to Berlin in 2013, she continues her affiliation with TESEV as an adviser.

Previously, Kurban was a columnist for Turkish dailies Milliyet and Radikal, an editor for the Armenian-Turkish weekly Agos, and regularly comments on Turkey’s democratization process in domestic and international media. In 2007 and 2008, she taught at the Political Science and International Affairs Department of Boğaziçi University. 

She is a founding member of Diyarbakir Institute of Political and Social Studies and the Turkey expert of the European Commission’s Network of Independent Experts in the non-discrimination field.  Kurban has published widely on the Kurdish question, internal displacement field, human rights, minority rights, media freedom and anti-discrimination in Turkey, as well as European human rights law. Currently, she is the Mercator-IPC Fellow at Stiftung Wissenschaft and Politik (SWP) in Berlin.