Yakin Ertürk (Turkey) 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, Ankara, Turkey, from September 1986 to October 2010.

In addition to her academic career, she has worked for various national and international agencies on rural development and women in development, and she has provided training to public and civil actors on human rights and development issues.

Professor Ertürk has also undertaken numerous international assignments, including as:

  • Director of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (Oct 1997-Feb 1999);
  • Director of the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), UN Headquarters, New York (Mar 1999-Oct 2001);
  • UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women (SRVAW) (2003-2006);
  • member of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry into the Events in Southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010 (Oct 2010-April 2011);
  • member of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic (Sept 2011-Mar 2012).

In her capacity as the SRVAW, she undertook 17 country visits at the invitation of the governments concerned. Since November 2009, Yakin Ertürk has been serving on the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT).