At the second stage of the programme, four mid-career female culture professionals took a programme of mentoring, placements and ideas exchange with UK counterparts and organisations during 2018.

Efruz Çakırkaya, Istanbul Music Festival Director, İKSV; Ezgi Yalınalp, Puruli Culture and Arts, Co-founding Director; Esra Gönen, ORIGINN Co-founding Director and Simay Dinç, Recontact Digital Arts, Game and Technology Co. A.Ş Co-founding Director are the leaders in the programme.

All of the leaders spent at least three weeks with their UK counterparts: Efruz Çakırkaya with Louise Jeffreys, Art Director of Barbican Centre in London between 29 October – 9 November 2018, Ezgi Yalınalp with HOME&IMF in Manchester, Oska Bright Film Festival in Brighton and UNLIMITED, Southbank and Filmpro in London between 13 – 15 January 2019, Esra Gönen with Erika Rushton, Director of Baltic Creative in Liverpool between 21 November – 4 December 2018 and Simay Dinç with Jo Twist, CEO of UKIE in London between 14 – 29 November 2018.

After returning to Turkey, women leaders shared the outcomes and ideas from their experience with the public: Ezgi Yalınalp organised a panel entitled ‘Equal Participation to the Cultural Life’ in the Goethe-Institute Ankara on 19 October 2018 with the Oska Bright Film Festival, and Esra Gönen invited Erica Rushton to the three days (7-9 February) Think-up Culture conference in Izmir by also adding one day dedicated to the British Council’s work around creative economies and women. Simay Dinç organised a Women in Games Conference at the Sabancı Museum in 16 February 2019 and it was followed with a Hackathon at the museum on 17 February by 50 young women gamers with the support of the British Council as an enabler of a UK expert’s participance as a keynote speaker: Marie Claire Isaaman, CEO, Women in Games UK.

Other events organised by the women leaders of the programme


As a follow-up event to the Hackathon organised in February 2019 at the Sabancı Museum, Hacking the Future took place in a new culture centre named ‘Kıraarthane’, transformed from an old Greek village in Küçükköy, Ayvalık. With the support of Sabancı University, Simay Dinç has provided many young women with an environment where they can develop games. She also hosted Jo Twist, CEO, UKIE who she found the opportunity to work with during her visit to UK. Through the event, topics related to games, future and social awareness were discussed with the participation of game developers, scientists, social entrepreneurs, and artists.


During the collaboration with the Accessible Film Festival co-founded by Ezgi Yalınalp, Mural Ankara was organised as a side event with three mural artists and three activists attempting to find an area of expression to the problems which disabled women have while living in a city. Fritz, Ekin Kılıç Ezer, and Yeşim Paktin participated from the UK and Turkey as artists. Beyza Ünal, Disabled Rights Activist; Elif Gamze Bozo, Consultant, Accessible Art Foundation and Fatma Köseoğlu Güldal, Board Member, Association of Women with Disabilities participated from Turkey as activists. 

You can view the photos via here.