Andrew E. Manatos

Mr. Manatos served as a U.S. Senate committee staff director and an assistant secretary in the President Jimmy Carter Administration. He founded the Washington, D.C., public affairs company of Manatos & Manatos in 1983, of which he continues to be president. The Washington Post described the firm as “one of Washington’s most powerful lobbying firms.”

Andrew Finkel

Andrew Finkel has been a journalist based in Turkey since 1989, corresponding for a variety of print and broadcast media including The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Economist, TIME, and CNN.

Anthony J. Limberakis, M.D.

Dr. Limberakis, an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate since 1987 and a member of the Archon National Council since 1988, is a practicing radiologist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A former page in the United States Senate while in high school, he earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in political science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1975. AS 1978 graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine, he is president and owner of Bustleton Radiology Associates, Ltd.

Christopher Stratakis, Esq.

A native of Chios, Greece, Christopher Stratakis is a graduate of Drexel University (B.S., 1951) and the New York University School of Law (J.D., 1955). He is a senior partner of Poles, Tublin, Stratakis & Gonzalez, LLP, a law firm he joined in 1960. He has been practicing admiralty and corporate law ever since. Prior to joining his law firm, he was general counsel to National Shipping & Trading Corp., a New York shipping company.

Dilek Kurban, MA, JD

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.

Dogan Bermek

Mr. Bermek’s education includes degrees in architecture, business administration as well as being a graduate of the Harvard School of Business. He began his career as an architect in 1971, but also has been active in community affairs in his native Turkey.

Doug Bandow

Mr. Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He also is the senior fellow in International Religious Persecution at the Institute on Religion and Public Policy and served as a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan.

Dr. Akyan Erdemir

Dr. Aykan Erdemir, is a member of the Turkish Parliament representing Bursa since June 2011. He is a member of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee and the EU Harmonization Committee.

Dr. Ayhan Kaya

Dr. Kaya is a professor at Istanbul’s Bilgi University where he is director of the European Institute at the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, Department of International Relations. He holds the Jean Monnet Chair of European Politics of Interculturalism.

Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou

Dr. Prodromou is a retired, senior U.S. diplomat, having served (2004-2012) as vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Since 2011, she is a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group: Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society.

Dr. Levent Koker

Born in Ankara in 1958, Dr. Köker graduated from Ankara University Law School in 1980. He received a master’s degree in political science from Ankara University in 1983 After having completed his doctoral dissertation in 1987, he became an assistant professor of politics in Gazi University where, in 1990, he became an associated professor in political theory. In 1996, he was promoted to full professorship in public law at Gazi University Law School.

Dr. Murat Somer

Murat Somer is senior visiting scholar at the Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies and associate professor of international relations (comparative politics and Turkish politics) at Koç in Istanbul.

Dr. Nikolaus Schneider

Dr. Schneider has been the chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) since 2010.

Dr. Osman Can

Dr. Osman Can graduated from Ankara University Faculty of Law in 1992. In 1993, he began his career as a research assistant at the Faculty of Law in Erzincan. In 1997, he got his master’s degree at the University of Cologne, Germany, on “The Legal Status President of the States in Turkish and German Constitutional Law.” In 2001, he began to work as the assistant professor of Constitutional Law at the Faculty of Law of Erzincan University.

Dr. Steven Ealy

Dr. Ealy, who received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Georgia in 1979, taught at various colleges in the southeastern United States for fourteen years before joining the staff of Liberty Fund in 1993. He is currently a senior fellow at Liberty Fund, an educational foundation based in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Dr. Tuğba Tanyeri-Erdemir

Dr. Tuğba Tanyeri-Erdemir, in addition to being deputy director of the Center for Science and Society, also is a lecturer in the graduate program in Architectural History at Middle East Technical University, Ankara.

Emre Öktem

Emre Öktem is an associate professor of international law and the head of the International Law Department at the Faculty of Law of Galatasaray University, Istanbul.

Ergun Ozbudun, Ph.D.

Dr. Özbudun is currently a professor of constitutional law and political science at Istanbul Şehir University.

Fatma Benli

Having graduated from the Faculty of Law at İstanbul University, Mrs. Fatma Benli is continuing her education to receive her Ph.D. degree in private law at Marmara University, also in Istanbul.

George C. Rockas, Esq.

Mr. Rockas is a member of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He was the conference planning chairman for the religious freedom conference the Order sponsored in Brussels in 2010. He also is a member of the Order’s Legal Committee and the chairman of the Litigation Sub-Committee of the Legal Committee. In those capacities, he has helped monitor legal issues facing the Greek Orthodox Church minority as well as other religious minorities in Turkey.

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America

Archbishop Demetrios (Trakatellis) of America was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. In 1950 he graduated with distinction from the University of Athens School of Theology. He was ordained a deacon in 1960, and a priest in 1964.

His Eminence Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa

His Eminence Metropolitan of Bursa and Exarch of Bithynia, Elpidophoros (Lambriniadis) was born in 1967 in Bakirköy, Istanbul.

His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France

His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France (Adamakis) was born December 19, 1958 in Crete. His advanced studies in Philosophy and Theology were at the Faculty of Humanities of the Catholic Institute of Paris and St. Sergius Orthodox Institute.

Ilber Ortayli

Ilber Ortayli is a leading Turkish historian, professor of history at the University of Galatasaray in Istanbul and at Bilkent University in Ankara. Since 2005 he has been the head of the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul.

Ioannis Ktistakis

Mr. Ktistakis is assistant professor of Human Rights Law in Bogazici University of Istanbul, Turkey, and Democritus University of Thrace, Greece. He is the legal adviser to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He is a lawyer-senior [partner in Ktistakis & Associates Law Firm. He previously served as legal consultant to the Greek National Commission for Human Rights and the Marangopoulos Foundation for Human Rights.

Jay Alan Sekulow

Dr. Sekulow is chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a law firm and educational organization that focuses on constitutional law. He is also chief counsel of the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ). A nationally recognized and respected defender of constitutional freedoms, Sekulow has assembled one of the most prestigious law firms in the nation. Founded in 1990, the ACLJ focuses on constitutional law.

John Zavitsanos, Esq.

John Zavitsanos has been an attorney since receiving his J.D. degree from the University of Michigan in 1987. His undergraduate degree was from the Loyola University of Chicago where he graduated magna cum laude in 1984. He has been recognized with numerous honors including the Best Lawyers in America award, which has been presented to him for nine consecutive years.

Johny Messo

Mr. Messo was born in 1978 and raised in the Netherlands, but lives currently in Sweden. His roots lie in the ancient Syriac Orthodox region in Southeast Turkey called Tur-Abdin, which is Aramaic for “the Mountain of Servants (of God)” and known as the Mount Athos of the East.

Jordan Sekulow

Mr. Sekulow oversees much of the center’s international work, engaging with government officials and international leaders on human rights issues around the world. With an extensive background as a conservative grassroots political organizer on both national and local issues, Mr. Sekulow is a sought-after expert on American politics. He served as the National Youth Director for the Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential campaign.

Mehmet Paçacı, Ph.D.

Mehmet Paçacı, Ph.D., is director general of International Affairs for the Presidency of Religious Affairs, Republic of Turkey. Previously he served as a consular for Religious and Social Affairs for the Turkish embassy in Washington, D.C.

Mine Yildirim

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

Muna Ndulo

Muna Ndulo graduated L.L.B. (Zambia), L.L.M. (Harvard) and Ph.D. (Oxford). He is a professor law at the Cornell Law School and director of Cornell University’s Institute for African Development.

Mustafa Akyol

​Mr. Akyol is a columnist for two Turkish newspapers, Hürriyet Daily News and Star. His articles also have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and many other publications. He studied political science and history at the Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, where he still lives.

Orhan Kemal Cengiz

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.

P. Lakis Vingas

Pandeli Laki Vingas is an entrepreneur managing his own export-import business since 1983. As a member of the Greek minority of Istanbul, he has been very active in the social affairs of his community, including active participation in Greek minority cultural organizations.

Paris Asanakis

Mr. Asanakis, a partner in the Antapassis, Albouras, Asanakis Law Office, has a strong record in supporting human rights.

Pastor Ihsan Ozbek

Ihsan Ozbek was born in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1963 to a nominal Muslim family. In 1982 he became a Christian and in 1992 he started to serve as an elder in the evangelical church in Ankara and in 1996 became the pastor.

Rinaldo Marmara

Rinaldo Marmara is a historian specialized in the history of Latin Catholic community in Turkey. He has several books and articles about the history of the Latin community covering the Byzantine, Ottoman, and Turkish Republican period.

Riza Turmen

Dr. Türmen, a native of Istanbul, Turkey, graduated from the English High School for Boys in 1964 and the Istanbul University Law Faculty in 1964. He completed his lawyer’s training in the Istanbul Bar Association. He received a master’s degree in law from the McGill University, Montreal, and a doctoral degree in international relations from the Political Science Faculty of Ankara.

Rober Koptaş

Rober Koptas was born in Istanbul and graduated from Marmara University after completing his primary and secondary education at Armenian schools. He has a master’s degree from Bosporus University Department of Modern Turkish History.

The Hon. Judge B. Theodore Bozonelis

Mr. Bozonelis is a regional commander of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He is a member of the Order’s Legal Committee and chairman of the Order’s Patriarchal Properties Committee, which assists the Ecumenical Patriarchate on legal issues for the return of confiscated properties and developing a legal status and standing for the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Turkey.

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton (Via Video)

Hillary Rodham Clinton is former United States Secretary of State, a U.S. senator from New York, and First Lady of the United States. She is frequently mentioned as a possible Democratic Party candidate for President of the United States in the 2016 election. She is the first former First Lady to serve in the United States cabinet.

W. Cole Durham, Jr.

A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was a note editor of the Harvard Law Review and managing editor of the Harvard International Law Journal, Durham has been heavily involved in comparative law scholarship, with a special emphasis on comparative constitutional law.

William J. Antholis

Dr. Antholis is managing director at Brookings in Washington, D.C., where he works directly with the institution’s president, vice president, and board of trustees to set Brookings’ strategic direction and manage its policy research. He is also a senior fellow in Governance Studies.

Willy Fautré

In addition to being director of Human Rights Without Frontiers International, Mr. Fautré is a member of the International Consortium on Law and Religious Studies, he is the former charge de mission at the Cabinet of the Belgian Parliament. For 20 years, he has defended the rights of Christian asylum-seekers from Turkey in Belgium and published numerous articles about Turkey’s minorities. He is involved in the human rights dialogues between the European Union and a number of countries, including Turkey.

Özge Genç

Özge Genç, received her bachelor's degree in International Relations from Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey. She received her master's degree in International Politics and Middle East Studies from School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Istanbul Bilgi University and her research is on secularism in Turkey.

Özgür Sevgi Göral

Born in Bursa in 1977, she graduated from Saint Joseph High School and received her bachelor’s degree at the Istanbul University Faculty of Law. She received her master’s degree from Bosporus University Ataturk Institute for Modern Turkey History with a thesis on juvenile delinquency and penitentiaries in the early Republican era.

Şahin Alpay, Ph.D.

Dr. Alpay received his B.A. degree at the Political Science Faculty of Ankara University (1967) and his Ph.D. degree in political science at the Political Science Department of Stockholm University (1981). He was editor and columnist for leading Turkish daily newspapers (Cumhuriyet, Sabah, Milliyet) between 1982-2001.