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Sociology Research


Dr Yesim Yaprak Yildiz is an affiliated researcher at the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge. She passed her PhD viva with no corrections in July 2018. In her doctoral research, she examined public confessions of state actors on past atrocities against civilians, with a focus on Turkey and state violence against Kurds during the 1990s.

Drawing upon philosophical and sociological discussions on confession and theories of performativity, she analysed the processes of production of truth and subjectivity in public confessions of perpetrators. She continues her research into testimonial and confessional forms of truth-telling in the aftermath of mass atrocities in Turkey. Yaprak received her Master’s degree in Social and Political Thought at the University of Warwick in the UK and her BSc in Political Science at Middle East Technical University in Turkey. She co-taught Advanced Social Theory module at the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge and Anthropology of Human Rights module at the Department of Anthropology, SOAS in Michaelmas 2018. Yaprak has been working on human rights violations in Turkey for over ten years, previously at organisations including Amnesty International and Freedom from Torture.

She worked as a freelance researcher for UN Women, Child Soldiers International and European Roma Rights Centre. She currently holds a visiting fellowship at Sciences Po in Paris and works as a part time researcher at the LSE's European Institute.

Research Interests

Human rights, transitional justice, memory studies, political violence, philosophy of history, Foucault, Nietzsche. 

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Yildiz, Y. Y. (2017), Encountering the Invisible: Syrian Dom Refugees in Turkey, Roma Rights Journal, pp. 73 – 78

Yildiz, Y. Y. (2016), Forced Confession as a Ritual of Sovereignty: The Case of Diyarbakir Military Prison in Turkey, Special Issue on Torture, Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp. 185 – 198 

Yildiz, Y. Y. (2012), ‘New Political Subjects: Children of Displaced People in Turkey’, Forced Migration Review, No: 40, University of Oxford, Refugee Studies Centre

Key Publications - Other

Yildiz, Yesim Yaprak (2015), Nowhere to Turn: The situation of Dom Refugees from Syria in Turkey, European Roma Rights Centre. 

Yildiz, Yesim Yaprak (2013), Legislative Review Regarding the Compatibility of Health Legislation with International Standards on Gender Equality-Cluster 5, United Nations Joint Programme Fostering an Enabling Environment for Gender Equality in Turkey 

Yildiz, Y. Y. Missing from Turkey’s peace process: memory, truth and justice, Open Democracy, 4 April 2015

Yildiz, Y. Y. The Paradox of Tear Gas, Interview with Dr Anna Feigenbaum, Jacobin Magazine, 4 May 2018

Grants and Projects

Yildiz, Y. Y. October 2018 - March 2019 Entente Cordiale Postdoctoral Fellowship

Yildiz, Y. Y. June 2016 Supplementary Funding, Cambridge Political Economy Society

Yildiz, Y. Y. January – June 2015 Fieldwork funding, Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge

PhD Supervisor

Research Groups & Affiliations

Job Title:
Affiliate Researcher, Selwyn College
Contact Information: