Muhammad Bakri – Country Program Manager

Born in Damascus in 1990, Muhammad started his professional career working as a citizen journalist with Sham News Network (SNN) and volunteer translator. He founded or co-founded several organizations in 2012 including Damascus Suburbs Leadership Council, Qarah Local Council, and Qarah News Facebook page. In late 2012, he left Damascus and stayed in his hometown, Qarah. He worked as a News Anchor at a local radio station and as a Communications Manager at Qarah Local Council. In 2014, he fled to neighboring Lebanon where he worked as a Communications Officer with the Assistance Coordination Unit (ACU), a local NGO in Lebanon. After moving to Turkey, Muhammad worked with several international organizations/companies including Relief International on a health program in northern Syria, Adam Smith International on a program called “Access to Justice and Community Security”, and with the International Bridges to Justice in 2018 when he joined as an Administrative Consultant and was then promoted to Syria Program Coordinator in Sep of the same year, and then again to a Program Manager in early 2020. He is now the country director for Turkey. Muhammad went to Damascus Dental School, but at the final moment, was prevented from graduating due to the start of the war.

Ali Riza Torun – Turkish Legal Expert

Ali Rıza TORUN, born in 1983 in Gaziantep completed his education in Gaziantep before graduating from Istanbul University Faculty of Law in 2004. After completing his one-year internship at the Ankara Bar Association, he returned to Gaziantep, registered with the Gaziantep Bar Association and started to practice as a freelance lawyer, as well as a trademark and patent attorney, Atty. Ali Rıza Torun continues to work on intellectual property and commercial law, as well as criminal law, foreigners’ law and human rights and joined IBJ in 2021 as a Turkish legal expert.

Şeyhmus Firat – Finance and Administration Officer

Şeyhmus Fırat was born in 1989 in Uşak city. Şeyhmus completed his education in Gaziantep and has a masters degree in Human Psychology. After that, he started to study business administration and received training in Marketing and Brand Management in California/San Francisco. He has more than six years of experience in NGOs in the finance and administration department. Before his role at IBJ, Şeyhmus was working for UNHCR, assisting in financial and admin management. Seyhmus is passionate and concerned about refugees and their rights, Seyhmus currently holds the position of Finance and Admin Officer for the financial operations in Turkey. Şeyhmus has a strong work ethics and is committed to helping minorities in his community.

Ella O’Reilly – Program Coordinator

Ella O’Reilly has a degree in Religious Studies from the University of Edinburgh with a specialization in religion, conflict and refugee communities. Her keen interest in human rights have formerly led her to volunteer in refugee camps in Northern France and Palestine and to assist with the New Scots Syrian Refugee Resettlement Scheme in Scotland. Her desire to pursue a career related to justice led her to International Bridges to Justice in 2020, she has worked on the IBJ Syria program and the youth program since 2020. She currently works on the Turkey country program ‘Advancing Justice for Syrians in Turkey’.