Yakın Ertürk received a PhD in development sociology from Cornell University in 1980. She served as a faculty member at the Department of Sociology, Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey (Sept.1986 – Oct 2010); prior to that she also taught at Hacettepe University (1983-86) and Riyad University, Center for Girls (1979-82).
In addition to her academic career, she undertook consultancy for various national and international agencies on rural development and women in development projects in Turkey, India, Egypt and Yemen (1986-2003). In 1997, on sabbatical from her University, she joined the United Nations, first as Director of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic (Oct.1997- Feb.1999), then as Director of The Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) at UN Headquarters in New York (March 1999 – Oct. 2001), after which she returned to the academia.
As an independent expert, she held numerous international human rights mandates, including: Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women (SRVAW) (2003-2009) - where she undertook 17 fact finding missions to various countries; received complaints regarding violations of women’s human rights from around the world; and prepared thematic reports on violence against women, its causes and consequences for submission to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.; member of the Council of Europe, Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) (2009-2013), which monitors how people deprived of their liberty are treated; member of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry of the June 2010 events in the Republic of Kyrgyzstan (Oct. 2010-April 2011); member of the International Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syrian Arab Republic of the UN Human Rights Council (12 Sept. 2011-23 March 2012). Ertürk is currently coordinating a research in 11 countries on family law and violence against women, which is part of a WLP project on family law reform (April 2016 -present).
Her academic areas of interest are: International Human Rights Regimes; Identity Politics, Conflict and Violence against Women; Globalization and Population Movements; Household Labour Use Patterns and Women in Development. A selection of her more recent publications include Violence without Borders: Paradigm, Policy and Practical Aspects of Violence against Women) in WLP Translation Series, 2016. (Originally published in Turkish in 2015); “The Missing Link in Women’s Human Rights” in openDemocracy, 6 March 2015. (www.opendemocracy.net); “Iran: a ‘bloody stain’ on the nation” in openDemocracy, 25 November 2014. (www.opendemocracy.net); “Due diligence for women’s human rights: transgressing conventional lines” in openDemocracy, 10 December 2013. (www.opendemocracy.net); “Culture versus Rights Dualism: a myth or a reality?” in Development, 55(3): 273–276, 2012.; B. Purkayastha (Co-author), “Linking Research, Policy and Action: A look at the work of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women”in Current Sociology, 60 (2): 142-160, 2012.; “Towards a Post-Patriarchal Gender Order: Confronting the universality and the particularity of violence against women” in Sociologisk forskning (Swedish National Sociological Review), Vol 46, No 4: 61-70, 2009.; “The Due Diligence Standard: What Does It Entail for Women’s Rights?” in Carin Benninger-Budel (Ed.) Due Diligence and its Application to Protect Women from Violence, Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers: 27-46, 2008.; “Turkey’s Modern Paradoxes in Identity Politics, Women’s Agency and Universal Norms” in M. Ferree and A. Tripp (Eds). Global Feminism: Transnational Women’s Activism, Organizing, and, Human Rights: New York: New York University Press: 79-109, 2006.; “Considering the Role of Men in Gender Agenda Setting: Conceptual and Policy Issues.” Feminist Review. Issue 78: 3-22, 2004.