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Orhan Kemal Cengiz

IZMIR, TURKEY

  • Attorney
  • Human Rights Defender
  • Newspaper Columnist

Mr. Cengiz is a human rights lawyer, columnist and former president of the Human Rights Association, a Turkish NGO that works on human rights issues ranging from the prevention of torture, combating against discrimination to the rights of the mentally disabled.  He is known for representing the families of the victims in the Malatya murder case, in which three Christians were killed by a group of young men with links to ultranationalist organizations.

Throughout his professional life, Mr.  Cengiz has tried to improve the human rights situation in Turkey and to uphold the rule of law.  He received his law degree from Ankara University in 1993.  He was director of Human Rights of Izmir Bar Association in 1966.  He served as the lawyer for the Alliance of Turkish Protestant Churches between 2002 and 2011.

He is also an active columnist writing for the daily Radikal,  English-language daily Today's Zaman and Al-Monitor. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Freedom Honor Award presented by the Association of Liberal Thinking.