Nurcan Baysal is a Kurdish author and human rights defender. She is also a regular columnist with the independent Turkish news site, Ahval.
She was born and grew up in Diyarbakır, where she has helped to establish a number of NGOs in the region. For many years, she has worked to defend the rights of Western Turkey’s forcibly migrated Kurdish population. Baysal serves as an advisor or board member of various non-profit organizations. She is one of the founders of the Platform to Save Women Kidnapped by ISIS and Diyarbakir Political and Social Research Institute (DISA). She is a member of the women’s movement and several peace movements in Turkey.
She is the author of O Gün (That Day), Kürdistan’da Sivil Toplum (Civil Society in Kurdistan, co-author), Ezidiler: 73. Ferman (Ezidis: 73rd Verdict) and O Sesler (Those Voices). She is one of the very few reporting from the inside of the Turkish-Kurdish conflict, from the proud and ancient heart of Kurds living in Turkey – the city of Diyarbakir. She focuses on human rights and war crimes in her articles.
Nurcan Baysal was awarded the “Brave Women Journalists Award” presented by the Italian Women Journalists Association in 2017. She is a Global Laureate for Human Rights Defenders at Risk for 2018 of the Front Line Defenders Award. She was detained in 2018 because of her human rights work. Several court cases and threats have been brought against her due to her articles about human rights and war crimes in Kurdistan.