Hounded for making ethnic minorities in Turkey heard- Esin’s story

Published by Joanna Pitta on

What first motivated Esin to escape the comfort of her teaching career in Turkey and become politically active was the growing sense that widespread injustice was corroding her country: 

“I witnessed severe human rights abuse in Turkey for many years” she told Prisoners of Conscience, but “the mistreatment of ethnic minorities by the Turkish authorities was what led me to become politically active”. 

Bravely, she took on a trade union representative role and became involved with a prominent left-wing party. The party, which is supported by various women’s rights and environmental movements, is banned in Turkey.  

It did not escape her notice that she was being watched by the authorities, and inevitably, the harassment soon followed.  

Esin found herself detained by the authorities twice over the period of April/May 2009. During this ordeal she was subjected to physical torture and sexual abuse.  

There was no option for her but to escape Turkey: “I had to leave Turkey and leave my family, my job, my friends”.  

She was granted refugee status upon her arrival in the UK, and as a result of the horrors she endured has since received counselling every week .  

Prisoners of Conscience has supported Esin in getting back on her feet and her continued fight against gross human rights abuses.  Together with the help of our kind supporters, we helped fund Esin’s MA degree from a renowned London university .   

Currently, Esin is still involved with the Kurdish Community Centre in London and Survivors Speak Out and Movement for Justice.  

We wish her all the best with her future studies and political activities.  

Categories: Bursaries