Handan Bakbak was born in the district of Ayazpaşa in Istanbul, although her family’s roots can be traced back to the province of Erzurum in eastern Turkey. She completed primary, middle, and high school in Nişantaşı, another district in Istanbul, and she went on to complete her university studies at Istanbul University’s Faculty of Law. In particular, she has done work for various centers and commissions that operate under the auspices of the Istanbul Bar Association, and she has also worked with non-governmental organizations on numerous social projects. In the meantime, she has also carried out long-term projects at Bahçeşehir University’s School of Politics and at the same university’s centers for research on terrorism and strategy. She continues to work as a lawyer and consultant at her own law office, primarily focusing on private law, and she is continuing with her studies at Istanbul University’s Department of Sociology. In addition to being a member of various non-governmental organizations, she works with a team of academicians as a constituent member on issues concerning health law; she is proficient in English and has published numerous scholarly articles. She is a mother and a self-described true devotee of nation and service. In recent times, Handan Bakbak, who was one of the first registered arbitrators in Turkey, has emphasized the importance of arbitration and been engaged in efforts to bring the practice up to date so that it can become established, thereby becoming a respectable occupation in the process. As part of that endeavor, she has been involved in work groups as a mentor arbitrator. Her personal creed is honor in the face of life, standing one’s ground, industriousness, being productive, and knowing one’s responsibilities. Her life philosophy is based on the necessity and importance of working for the advancement and elevation of women, as that is the most crucial element of social progress.
Nathalie BARKİ


Born in 1984 in Istanbul, Nathalie has dedicated her life to learning. An accomplished psychologist, she first completed a double major in Psychology and English Language Education at Istanbul Bilgi University and continued on her journey by doing a master’s degree at Columbia University in New York from 2018 to 2020.

In 2012, she was awarded the Todd Benson Scholarship by Laureate International University and in 2014 she studied social neuroscience at Utrecht University on an Erasmus scholarship. In 2020, she graduated from Columbia University’s departments of Mental Health Counseling and Psychological Counseling with a dual degree. She is a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and British Psychological Society (BPS).

Nathalie, who has been Azra Kohen’s assistant since 2012, also does education and career consultancy. She works as a volunteer for HADİ.


Born in Lebap, Turkmenistan in 1992, Gyrmyzy Charyyeva moved to Turkey for work when she was 17 years old. Soon afterwards she met Azra Kohen during a chance encounter, and under her guiding light she started mapping out the contours of her life.

Her determined, courageous character and openness to change paved the way for her success in educational life in the country where she’d come to work, as evidenced by the fact that she graduated from the Department of International Trade at Mehmet Akif Ersoy University. Bolstered by an outlook steeped in love for the world, nature, and animals, a mindset that has adopted the principle of personal and social development, and a mentality based on fairness, she is continuing down the path of her life.

Perhaps because she’s a bit mad and full of life, by travelling the world she dreams of seeing various places, experiencing new and different things, learning about diverse cultures, exploring new tastes, and, most importantly, during the course of that journey she wants to rediscover herself to find her true energy and add yet more color to her transitionally dynamic life.


Ece Gürler, who was born in Adana in 1981, completed her associate degree in Public Relations and Publicity and went on to study her bachelor’s degree in the Public Relations and Publicity Department at Istanbul University.

At a young age she became interested in journalism and publishing, which drove her to write culture and art pieces for local newspapers when she was in high school and in later years guided her to work as a television program assistant. By continuing with her education along this path, which began in a self-taught fashion, she went on to do camerawork, television program directing, graphic design, broadcast editing, advertising agency coordination, public relations consultancy, and digital marketing consultancy. While working at a digital marketing agency which she co-founded in 2016, she adopted the goal of working on real perceptions, habits, and expectations rather than figures, trends, and tendencies.

Gürler, who has grounded her life on imagining, learning, exploring, and producing, is interested in cinema, technology, and archaeology.
Zelal Kartal


Zelal, who was born on planet Earth on February 28, 1973, graduated from the Faculty of Law at Dokuz Eylül University and she has been working as a lawyer for twenty years. In addition to being involved as a volunteer in projects about women’s, children’s, and animal rights, she continues to work on her hobbies, which include painting, the art of miniatures, manuscript-style illuminations, ceramics, sewing, knitting, photography, writing, and magazine and television work, and, drawing on her belief that people should produce what they consume, she is also involved in amateur farming. Zelal, who tries to organize her life around the understanding that all living creatures are interconnected and responsible for one another, works with the HADİ Association with zeal and passion on a wide variety of issues, ranging from law to education, production to philosophy, and art to food culture. Zelal is the volunteer mother of one dog, two ducks, one cat, and all the children of the planet. She hopes to meet up when she swings by earth sometime.
Azra Sarızeybek Kohen


Author Azra Sarızeybek Kohen was born in Izmir in 1979. After graduating from the Department of Radio, Television and Cinema at Istanbul University, she studied for three semesters in Canada at Ottawa University’s Department of Aid Economies for Third World Countries, and then she went on to complete her master’s degree in Applied Psychology at Liverpool University. Currently she is working on a double major in Sustainable and Regenerative Agricultural Systems at Writtle University College in the United Kingdom. Azra Kohen, who speaks English and Italian well, is married and has one child. She is the author of the trilogy Phi-Chi-Pi, which was originally published in Turkey, as well as the novels Aeden and Gör Beni (See Me). The trilogy was adapted as a television series and broadcast under the titles Phi and Chi. Azra Kohen is deeply aware of the notion of “WE.” All of her works are based on her belief that all living beings in the universe are interconnected and responsible for one another, and also her conviction that even an individual can change the world with the right behavior and evolve into a unique human being. She constantly strives to contribute to humanity’s journey towards development through her projects, conferences, and the original videos she creates with the aim of raising social awareness. She believes that reading is the best guide on life’s journey.

Azra Kohen’s motto: May we all contribute to life!
Ayşegül Sarızeybek


I was one of those lucky people who cast off their financial concerns at a young age and, in order to become a master of my spiritual feelings, started off very early as an apprentice of life. How, you ask?

For as long as I can remember I have loved nature and life. As a child, when my mother was at work, I would sneak all kinds of animals into the house and feed them, and just before she came home, I would put them back outside. I shared everything I had with animals. I’d spend part of my allowance on them, which would fill me with such happiness that at that young age I could feel true happiness coursing through me down to the marrow of my bones. As I got older, I came to understand that nothing can make people happier than being a good person! When I grew up, step by step I became acquainted with the challenges of life, and I became a mother. As a result of that experience, I acquired an exceptional outlook. Through my children, I learned how everything we do has an impact on life. Raising good people who will add meaning to life became the point of my existence on earth, and I vowed that, above and beyond my children, I would support every living creature I could benefit.

As I know that true happiness is nourished by goodness and keen interest, I will go on striving for the sake of a purposeful world created by generations who are brought up with the meaning that the strength born of goodness adds to life.