What is your background?

I have been working in the Council of Europe for nearly 20 years (initially at the European Court of Human Rights and now in the Secretariat of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities).  I have degrees in economics (Bachelor) and international politics (Masters) from the University of Istanbul and in sociology (MPhil) from the University of Paris VII.

What do you do?

Since 2010, I have been co-organising the work of the Secretariat of the Monitoring Committee. This involves visits to around 10 countries per year (for monitoring and fact-finding), drafting documents (reports, speeches, information notes) and representing the Secretariat before other instances.

What do you love about your job?

The job has a high learning curve and is therefore challenging. We need an in-depth knowledge of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, and a working knowledge of local government systems and the political situation in members States. I also like the fact that it is an experience in diversity (for example, meeting elected representatives from 47 countries, and visiting interesting places).

For me, the Council of Europe is a dynamic institution becoming more and more politically visible. It is also geographically well situated in Europe. Life in Strasbourg is a "long calm river" for me but I hear from younger colleagues that it has lots of exciting places to go to as well. It is a great place to experience an international environment, learn more about the backstage of politics and develop language skills.