Team Spotlight: Hakan Bilgin

How long have you worked in humanitarian aid and when did you join DotW? 

I have been working in humanitarian aid for over 20 years. I started my career with MSF, then moved on to ICRC, IRC, and IMC. The last 3 years I have been with Doctors of the World.

What is your work focused on?

Our main focus at Doctors of the World Turkey (Dünya Doktorlari Dernegi | DDD) is of course the response to the refugee and migrant crisis in our country. My work is focused on the strategic positioning of our organization in Turkey, as well as ensuring the political and socio-cultural acceptance of our programs by national authorities, institutions and civil societies in the country.

What is your most memorable experience at Doctors of the World?  

My most memorable experience was when we secured the first work permits for our Syrian colleagues in Turkey.

*Editor’s Note: Doctors of the World Turkey employs a number of Syrian refugees in Turkey to aid their work with the more than 2.5 million Syrian refugees now living in the country.

What has been one of the biggest challenges in your work? 

Overcoming false perceptions of humanitarian aid workers and creating acceptance of our work [with refugees in Turkey].

Here’s one of our favorites questions to ask to get to know you better: What is your favorite film, book or musician?

My favorite film is Star Wars because that was the first film I saw in color. My favorite book is the Brothers Karamazov. My favorite musician is Prince – I learned my first words in English from his songs.  

*Editor’s Note: It’s hard to resist a good Prince song, no matter where you’re from!