March 12, 2013, 1:15 pm - September 24, 2023, 4:52 pm


The SEIU Building
1800 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC , District of Columbia 20036 (Map)

The Middle East Institute is proud to host three women changemakers in Turkey for a discussion about women in business and women's rights. In recent years, women in Turkey have made inroads in fields where women have not traditionally been present. They are now successful business owners, managers, entrepreneurs, politicians, engineers, and academics. Their voices have become part of the public debate as they increasingly participate in all aspects of public life.  Despite increasing opportunities, however, women in Turkey still face many challenges, including gender discrimination and income inequality. Please join us for this free-ranging discussion about the role of women in Turkey today.  

Derya Bakbak: Ms. Derya Bakbak received her bachelor's degree from the University of Gazi in architectural engineering and a separate degree in business from the University of Anadolu. She received her masters and Ph.D degrees at the University of Gaziantep in construction engineering, specifically on architectural design and structural resistance analysis. Ms. Derya Bakbak is an architect with the Arici Construction Company, working on various projects that include real estate, villas, gas stations, schools and hotels. Coinciding with these projects, she is featured in two publications relating to the traditional adobe homes within the Osmaniye region of Turkey. Currently, she serves as a member of Parliament for Gaziantep. She is also a member of many business organizations including the Chamber of Architects.

Rana Tezcan Açıkgöz: Ms. Rana Tezcan Açıkgöz is the Vice President of TUSKON (Confederation of Businessman and Industrialists of Turkey) and the executive board member of the Koza Women and Business Association. She has worked in different companies in different sectors (including media & telecommunications) as a legal adviser from 2000 to 2012. She has been working as a Regulatory and Legal Affairs Manager since the beginning of 2012 in a private company operating in the energy sector. She graduated from Marmara University Faculty of Law and received her master's degree on EU Law. The subject of her master's thesis is "Maternal Benefits of The Working Women Under EU Law and Comparison With Legal Arrangements and Practices in Turkey." She speaks Turkish, English and Italian.     
Saime Baran Yıldız: Ms. Saime Baran Yildiz is an Executive Board Member of TUSKON (Confederation of Businessman and Industrialists of Turkey) and an executive board member of the Koza Women and Business Association. For the past 15 years, she has been working in the petrochemical industry in Turkey and is responsible for the sales of polymers to different markets and industries such as packaging, construction, electronics and home appliances. For most of her life she lived in France until she started her professional career in advertisement and publicity. She graduated from the Business and Commerce University and speaks Turkish, English and French.