Yesim Yaprak Yildiz

Yesim’s research focuses on political violence and human rights. She is currently working on confessional forms of truth-telling in the aftermath of state-led atrocities.

Staff details

Yesim Yaprak Yildiz






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Yaprak joined the department in 2019 following her PhD in Sociology at the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on confessional and testimonial forms of truth-telling on past atrocities. She is currently working on her monograph on production of truth and subjectivity in public confessions of Turkish state actors on state violence against Kurds during the 1990s. Yaprak has worked on human rights violations in Turkey for many years on a wide range of issues from torture and ill-treatment to freedom of expression, women’s rights and refugee rights in organisations including Amnesty International, Freedom from Torture, Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, UN Women and European Roma Rights Centre.

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 ODTU in Turkey. Prior to joining the department, she worked as a Researcher at the LSE’s European Institute, Senior Teaching Fellow at SOAS and as an Associate Lecturer at the University of Cambridge. She has also worked at the Human Rights Consortium, School of Advanced Study.


Yaprak currently convenes and teaches on 'Practising Human Rights', an MA in Human Rights, Culture and Social Justice module; and a second-year option ‘Law and Contemporary Society’.

Publications and research outputs


Yildiz, Yesim Yaprak and Baert, Patrick. 2021. Confessions without guilt: public confessions of state violence in Turkey. Theory and Society, 50(1), pp. 125-149. ISSN 0304-2421

Lennox, Corinne and Yildiz, Yesim Yaprak. 2020. Activist scholarship in human rights. International Journal of Human Rights, 24(1), pp. 4-27. ISSN 1364-2987

Yildiz, Yesim Yaprak. 2016. Forced Confession as a Ritual of Sovereignty: The Case of Diyarbakır Military Prison in Turkey. Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law, 17(2), pp. 185-198. ISSN 1388-1906

Book Section

Yildiz, Yesim Yaprak. 2019. Confession as disavowal: JİTEM officers confessing to atrocities against Kurds during the 1990s. In: Adnan Çelik and Lucie Drechselová, eds. Kurds in Turkey: Ethnographies of Heterogeneous Experiences. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books. ISBN 9781498575249


Yildiz, Yesim Yaprak and Feigenbaum, Anna. 2018. The Paradox of Tear Gas: An Interview with Anna Feigenbaum.

Yildiz, Yesim Yaprak. 2015. Missing from Turkey’s peace process: memory, truth and justice.


Yildiz, Yesim Yaprak. 2015. Nowhere to Turn: The Situation of Dom Refugees From Syria in Turkey. Project Report. European Roma Rights Centre, Budapest.

Research Interests

Political violence

Transitional justice

Human rights


Confessional and testimonial truth-telling

Turkey and the Kurds

Social theory