Ayten Zara, a peace and human rights advocate, is an academic and clinical psychologist. She has completed her specialization and doctorate in England, and has worked for many years with the victims of domestic and sexual violence and their families in the Oasis Project in East Sussex. Ayten Zara, who returned to Turkey in 2000, started to work as a full-time faculty member at Istanbul Bilgi University, Department of Psychology.
At the same time, she also worked as a consultant for BÜREM Psychological Counseling Center Team at Boğaziçi University between 2001-2004.
Between 2012 and 2015, she was the Istanbul Director of the International Trauma Studies Certificate Program, which was carried out in cooperation with Istanbul Bilgi University and New York Columbia University. In 2020, she renewed this program and developed it as the program of the World Human Relief Association (www.worldhumanrelief.org), which she founded.
Since 2001, she has been conducting field studies to prevent child marriages and abuse in different provinces of Turkey, especially in the rural areas with “Information Projects Against Violence” with her students. These studies are now continuing within the scope of World Human Relief.
Dr. Zara has volunteered and continues to carry out many studies in Turkey after disasters and massive traumas. After the Marmara Earthquake, she worked with earthquake victims in Izmit Rehabilitation Center (İREM) between 2000-2001. She pioneered the structuring and implementation of emergency psychological assistance after the Afyon Earthquake, Elazığ, İzmir Earthquake, 2003 British Consulate, HSBC and the bomb attacks on the Synagogues. She supported the structuring and implementation of emergency psychological assistance after the bomb attack in the student classroom in Diyarbakır in 2008. She also took part in the team that provided psychosocial support to the victims of the 2010 Mardin Bilge Village Massacre.
Between 2001 and 2004, she worked as a consultant and trainer in the establishment of EPIDEM Psychological Support / Training Center, which aims to provide psychological and legal support to women and children subjected to violence in Diyarbakır Yenişehir Municipality.
The voice of children (stone throwing) who were subjected to violence in prisons between 2009 and 2012, took active part in the “Justice Platform for Children” and its reflection was the voice of children. Between 2010-2011, she worked as a consultant in Van Women’s Association Emergency Psychological Aid / Trauma Response Project.
In 2011-2013, Yöret provided training for counseling psychologists working in different regional schools on child neglect and abuse as an instructor in the “From Peaceful School to Social Peace Project” of the Swedish Embassy and the Ministry of National Education.
In 2012-2014, she worked as an academic advisor in the Young Life Foundation ‘‘ Young People at Work and I Am Here Projects ”, creating the content of gender equality and non-violent communication training for teachers and students, as well as planning studies that will increase the social sensitivity of secondary school youth.
Dr. Zara participates in rights-based civil society activities both abroad and in the country, and provides consultancy. She gives speeches and offers training to better understand and support people who are exposed to trauma, which we call difficult to reach. Open University Conferences, National Conferences on Preventing Violence and Trauma Studies, Social awareness symposiums and projects, violence prevention campaigns are included in these studies.
She is the architect and director of the “We Can Prevent Child Sexual Abuse Together – #karanlığıarala #birşeysöyleyin ” Movement (9-12 January, 9-12 April, 18 -21 November 2020), which is a first in Turkey.
Prior to this, she contributed to the formation of social awareness and conscience in preventing violence against children with the “Stop Violence Against Children, From Peace at Home to Peace in the World” and “The Child Cannot Become a Bride and Groom!” Campaigns, which were also a first in Turkey.
She is the founding president of the World Human Relief Association (www.worldhumanrelief.org, which works to improve the living conditions of families, children and minorities who experience disadvantaged conditions in African countries, Asian countries and in Turkey. She also works to prevent violence and trauma against children. She carries out activities that will contribute to humanity with schools, shelters, sustainable life, agriculture and resource creation projects in Turkey and other countries.
Dr. Zara has many newspaper / magazine articles and interviews on children, family, and social violence. She is the author of Ruhu İyileştirmek, Yaşadıkça Psikolojik Sorunlar ve Başa Çıkma Yolları ve Kadınlar, Erkekler ve Çocuklar için Boşanma Terapisi.
The country has been wherever her heart is beating.
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Cinnah Cad. Alacam Sk. Tu-Ba Is Merkezi. No: 10/5
06690 Cankaya, Ankara, Turkiye
+90 312 466 70 00
Çiğdem Apaydın (Assoc Prof Dr)
Akdeniz Univesity, Faculty of Education
Educational Sciences, Educational Management