Orhan Kemal Cengiz

Orhan Kemal Cengiz was born in Izmir in 1968. He graduated from Ankara University Law School. In 1996, he served as the director of the Izmir Bar Association’s Human Rights Center. From 1997 to 1998, he worked in London on cases brought before the European Court of Human Rights, and later co-founded of the Izmir Bar Association’s Anti-Torture Committee. Mr. Cengiz has represented religious minorities before Turkish courts and the European Court of Human Rights for many years. He founded the Turkey-based Human Rights Agenda Association and served as the association’s president from 2003 to 2012. Mr. Cengiz sits on the Board of Directors of the Tahir Elçi Human Rights Foundation. In addition to his legal and advocacy work, he has been a regular columnist in many newspapers. He has also written and translated many books in the field of human rights, and is the author of the novel Umut Ağacı (Tree of Hope).

Selected publications by Mr. Cengiz:

“International Mechanisms in the Field of Human Rights Law” (KHRP, Ege Publishing House 1999); “Reference Guide to the European Court of Human Rights for Practitioners” (Izmir Bar Association, 2001); “Evaluation of Rights Violations Faced by Protestants in Turkey in Terms of Human Rights Law” (TPKB, 2002); “Legal Handbook for NGOs” (STGM, 2007); “Turkey and the World Around It” (Liberte, 2008); “Hate Crimes in Turkey” (with Hakan Ataman, 2009, IHGD); “Barriers to the Freedom of Associations to Organize in Turkey” (TUSEV, 2010); “Roma Rights in 70 Questions” (with Günal Kurşun, 2013, IHGD). A report on “Religious Minorities of Turkey”, 2020

Tree of Hope (a novel), Indie Publishing House, 2019

Selected translations by Mr. Cengiz:

“Freedom of Thought, Belief, Conscience and Expression” (2000, Belge Publications); “Torture Reporting Handbook” (2000, University of Essex); “A Guide to Good Prison Practices, Making Standards Work” (2001, PRI); “Defending and Promoting Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” (AAAS, 2004); “Combating torture handbook: a manual for judges and prosecutors” (2004, University of Essex) “Journalism, Media and the Challenge of Human Rights Reporting” (2006, Human Rights Policy).


Mr. Cengiz maintains his own private legal practice.