The 1990s was a particularly dark period in Turkey in terms of the Kurdish problem, when the state has committed many crimes. Almost no day passed without an unjustified detention or arrest. Disappearing under the custody of state was not an uncommon situation. Some of these people’s bodies were discovered in desolate places. They were called “unsolved murders”. Some of them left no trace at all. They are remembered as “disappeared” ones. They sat at Galatasaray Square where thousands of people pass. They were angry, sad, anxious and determined. They were not only asking for the bones of their relatives, but also asking the responsibles to be brought to account and justice so that the path to a new Turkey would open where similar sufferings would not take place. For this purpose, they sat for half an hour every Saturday with a silent scream under the rain, snow, wind or sun. This quiet but loud struggle which started in front of Galatasaray High School on May 27, 1995 continues for 16 years with the participation of the relatives of “disappeared” ones in Diyarbakir, Batman, Urfa and Cizre. They are the 2013 International Hrant Dink Awardee.

A human rights advocate, born in Serbia, Yugoslavia. Social worker turned lawyer, she began her early career as dissident under former Yugoslav President, Josip Broz Tito. For over two decades, she has been a tough spokesperson for fundamental human rights in the Western Balkans. She is currently the Director of the Humanitarian Law Center, an organization she founded in Belgrade in 1992. Since the start of the Yugoslav wars in the early 1990s, she has documented and protested against war crimes committed between 1991 and 1999, including torture, rape, and murder. Throughout the war in Kosovo, she traveled back and forth across Serbia, providing information to the outside world about human rights violations being committed by police and paramilitary groups. Besides looking for information and witnesses, she offered legal assistance and support to victims of human rights violations. During the war in Bosnia, she crossed the front lines to document what Serbian forces were doing to non-Serbian civilians in towns they occupied. The evidence she gathered was later used in the preparation of indictments by the International Criminal Court against the former Yugoslavia. She is the 2013 International Hrant Dink Awardee.

Political scientist and Human Rights defender. He studied at the Faculty of Political Science at Ankara University. In 1974, he obtained his PhD degree, he carried out his post-doctoral studies at the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva on international minorities. In 1982, he was suspended by the Council of Higher Education. He returned back to his post in 1983. On the day of his return, he was deposed by the military government of the 12 September 1980 coup d’état. For eight years, besides various jobs and teaching foreign language, he worked as a redactor for AnaBritannica. In 1990, he returned back to his post at the Political Science Faculty in Ankara University. In 1991, he became an associate professor and in 1997, he became a professor. In 2006, of his own accord, he retired from the Chairmanship of the Department of International Relations at Ankara University. In 2001, he became a member of the Prime Ministry Human Rights Advisory Board. He took part in the committee named ‘the Study Group on Minority Rights and Cultural Rights’. He was one of the authors of the Minority Rights and Cultural Rights Report in 2003. In 1 June 2007, with the initiative of Common Platform of Independent Candidate, he declared his candidacy for Istanbul deputyship. He did not get enough votes to enter the Parliament. Together with around one thousand intellectuals, he started the “We Apologize to Armenians” campaign. He writes for the weekly Agos newspaper and for the Radikal Two supplement.

Armenian American historian. He specializes in Armenia, the Caucasus, and the Near East. From 1991 to 1997, he served as adviser, and then senior adviser to the former President of Armenia, Levon Ter-Petrossian, as First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. He is a founding member of the Zoryan Institute. He taught previously at a number of universities, and has lectured and written extensively. He currently holds the Alex Manoogian Chair in Modern Armenian History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

American attorney. He was drawn to human rights causes through his Jewish father's experience of fleeing Nazi Germany in 1938. Jimmy Carter’s introduction of human rights as an element of US foreign policy in the late 1970s further inspired Roth to take on human rights as a vocation. Roth joined Human Rights Watch in 1987 as deputy director. His initial work centered on Haiti, which was just emerging from the Duvalier dictatorship but continued to be plagued by military rule. Since then, Roth has traveled the world over, pressing government officials of all stripes to pay greater respect to human rights. He has written extensively on a wide range of human rights abuses, devoting special attention to issues of international justice, counterterrorism, the foreign policies of the major powers, and the work of the United Nations. He has been the executive director of Human Rights Watch since 1993.

Born in South Africa, he became involved in the country’s liberation struggle at the age of 15. As a result of his anti-apartheid activities, he was expelled from high school. In 1986, he was arrested and charged for violating the state of emergency regulations. He went underground for one year before finally deciding to live in exile in England. During this time he was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford and earned a doctorate in political sociology. After Nelson Mandela’s release in 1990, he returned to South Africa to work on the legalisation of the African National Congress. He became the founding executive director of the South African National NGO Coalition, an umbrella agency for the South African NGO community. From 1998 to 2008, he was the Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, which is dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society throughout the world. He became Greenpeace International Executive Director in November 2009.

She is Professor of Global Governance and Director of the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit at the London School of Economics. She was a founding member of the European Nuclear Disarmament and of the Helsinki Citizens Assembly and a founding member of the European Council on Foreign Relations. She is the author of many books, including 'The Ultimate Weapon is No Weapon: Human Security and the Changing Rules of War and Peace', 'New and Old Wars: Organised Violence in a Global Era' and 'Global Civil Society: An Answer to War'.

Sociologist and writer. She graduated from Istanbul University's Department of Sociology in 1964. The Professors' Council of the University twice rejected her doctoral thesis, about the rise of a labour force in Turkey: students held down the University in order to protest that. That was the first university occupation in Turkey. Baydar then became an assistant in Hacettepe University. During the military coup in 1972 she was arrested due to her socialist activity as a member of the Workers Party of Turkey and the Teachers' Union of Turkey and she left the University. Between 1972 and 1974 she worked as a columnist in the newspapers Yeni Ortam (New Platform) and Politika (Politics). She issued her first journal together with Aydin Engin and Yusuf Ziya Bahadinli. During the 1980 military coup she went abroad and remained in exile for 12 years in Germany. She returned to Turkey in 1992. She has won many awards for the novels and stories she published after returning to Turkey.

Rakel Dink became involved in human rights activism following the tragic assassination of her husband, the prominent Turkish-Armenian journalist and founder of Agos newspaper, Hrant Dink.

Born to an Armenian family in Silopi, southeastern Turkey, Rakel moved to Istanbul with tens of kids from Anatolia in order to receive education in Armenian Schools. She met with Hrant Dink at Camp Armen, where Armenian children orphans or those away from their families would spend their summers. Rakel and Hrant got married and became managers at Camp Armen in the following years until the property was seized by the state.

Following the death of Hrant Dink in January 2007, Rakel devoted her life to preserving her husband’s legacy. She established the Hrant Dink Foundation in 2007, with a mission to protect and uphold human rights in Turkey, preserve the identity and culture of minorities, address polarization, and normalize Turkish-Armenian relations. Rakel continues to be an optimist and maintains that despite the various challenges that she was forced to overcome throughout her life, she has been surrounded by love and kindness. She is hopeful for the future of Turkey and finds joy in her work and her family.