Mine Yildirim

Mine Yildirim

Humanitarian and Religious Freedom Advocate | Istanbul, Turkey

  • Director, Freedom of Belief Initiative Project in Turkey
  • Norwegian Helsinki Commission
  • Doctoral Candidate, Aabo Akademi
  • Institute of Human Rights

In addition to being head of the Freedom of Belief Initiative Monitoring Project, Ms. Yildirim is a researcher at Abo Akademi University Institute for Human Rights.

Her recent research and publications indicate her expertise in this field:  The Right to Establish Places of Worship in Turkey for Religion and Human Rights (Vol. 8, 2013); The Return of Property to Community  Foundations in Turkey – The Restitution Decree, European Yearbook of Minority Issues ( Vol. 9, 2013); a chapter entitled “Freedom of Religion or Belief in the Turkish Legal System” in the Handbook of Religious Freedom (2012); a book chapter,  “Religion in the Public and Private Workplace: The Approach of the Turkey Judiciary” in A Test of Faith? Religious Diversity and Accommodation in the European Workplace (2012);Co-author on the report, “A Threat or Under Threat: Legal and Social Problems of Protestants in Turkey (2010); “Conscientious Objection to Military Service in International Law and the Case of Turkey” for Religion and Human Rights (2010).  In addition, she has been a contributor to Forum 18, TESEV (Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation) and has contributed articles to many Turkish newspapers.

She also has served as a consultant on several projects including work on freedom of religion or belief  in Turkey for human rights organizations and religious communities.  This past June, she did a background paper evaluating the optional religion lessons in light of Turkey’s human rights obligations for ERG (Educational Reform Initiative). And last year, also for ERG, she did another background paper on the changes in curricula of the Religious Culture and Ethics Books in light of human rights and human rights education.

Ms. Yildirim is currently a doctoral candidate and researcher at Abo Akademi University Institute for Human Rights.  Her research topic is “The Collective Dimension of Freedom of Religion or Belief in International Human Rights Law and Application of Findings to Turkey.” She received  her master’s degree in Human Rights and Civil Liberties from Leicester University in the United Kingdom. Her dissertation was on “International Protection of Internally Displaced Persons.” She received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Marmara University in Istanbul.