Emel Kurma



Emel Kurma lives in Istanbul and is the General Coordinator of the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly (HCA), an organisation of citizens for peace, democracy, pluralism and human rights. Active in social movements, she deals with citizenship rights, refugees and fundamental freedoms in Turkey and Eastern Europe. Graduated in Ankara in the mid-90s, after working for various human rights organisations, she became General Coordinator at the Citizens’ Assembly. In that role, she has worked on building strategies, project development, supervision of operations and resource generation for civil society. Her organisation also promotes civic engagement in policy processes and advocates peaceful, democratic dialogue and negotiation in conflict situations. The organisation also works toward building and practicising these values and this democratic conduct in daily life, across political, administrative, socio-economic and cultural borders. Over the last few years, her work as an activist has become more difficult in Turkey, where she closely follows the Kurdish question, and after some HCA members had been arrested, she temporarily moved abroad for a period of time in 2019.

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