Yonca Kösebay Erkan
1) Conservation & Adaptive Reuse
Member of the Selection Committee

Yonca ERKAN is a professor of Built Heritage at University of Antwerp since 2022. She is the UNESCO Chair on the Management and Promotion of World Heritage Sites: New Media and Community Involvement (since 2015) at the Kadir Has University, Istanbul. In 2018, she worked as senior consultant at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, as the HUL/World Heritage Cities Programme Coordinator. Currently, she is coordinating the EU research project within the Horizon2020 Marie-Sklodowska Curie – RISE Program titled “Sustainable Management of Industrial Heritage as a Resource for Urban Development” (2021-2025). Yonca Erkan also coordinates a funded project titled “In the context of urban-rural continuity, Web-GIS based Integrated Site Management Model for historic cities: The Case of İznik” (2021-2024). She received her PhD Degree in Architectural Conservation from Istanbul Technical University (2007), Master of Science Degree in Architecture Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1998), Master in Architectural Conservation, Yıldız Technical University (1996) where she also got her Bachelors Degree (1993).

Hakan Shearer Demir
4) Citizens Engagement & Awareness-raising
Member of the Selection Committee

Dr. Hakan Shearer Demir is an expert in the field of human rights and democratization, with a specific focus on sustainable development, displacement, local governance and cultural heritage. Dr. Shearer Demir has worked with non-governmental organizations as well as inter-governmental organizations, including the Council of Europe, the European Union, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and the International Labor Organization. He has MA in international and intercultural management from SIT Graduate Institute and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Strasbourg, where he is also an adjunct faculty member. His recent work has focused on local development initiatives, heritage inclusion, refugees and migration, integration and governance with particular attention to the co-construction of communities following displacement.

Emine Nurcan Yalman
2) Research
Member of the Selection Committee

Emine Nurcan Yalman is an archaeologist with 30 years of professional and academic experience in prehistoric archaeology and heritage studies. Her heritage work to date has focused on researching the diversity of community understandings and perceptions of various forms of tangible and intangible heritage in different countries (Turkey, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, UAE). She also has a rich portfolio of archaeological and ethnographic fieldwork projects. These include excavations of prehistoric sites and the ethnoarchaeological research of vernacular settlements. She is a longstanding member of the European Association of Archaeologists (joined in 2004; executive board member 2013-2016; member of the committee for the European Archaeological Heritage Prize 2019-present).

Ece Karakaş
5) Heritage Champions
Member of the Selection Committee

Ece is an MA candidate in Cultural Anthropology at Uppsala University with a strong passion for cultural heritage, traditional arts and human rights. With a background in International Relations and Cultural Studies, she aims to work with policies protecting tangible and intangible cultural heritage and ensure their intergenerational transmission. Her other interests include the curation process of the World Heritage List, ethnographic films and heritage tourism.