Biography - Meral AKINCI


Born on 21 January 1949, Mrs. Meral Akıncı is a graduate of Nicosia High School for Girls. Due to the American Field Service scholarship she won during her high school education, she studied in the USA for a year. She, then, graduated METU (Middle East Technical University), which she attended by winning the Kennedy Scholarship, with a double major from the Departments of Psychology and Education.

Returning Cyprus in 1972, Mrs. Akıncı started her career in the Psychiatric Hospital as the first Turkish Cypriot psychologist and worked there for 15 years.

Following her training in the Psychiatry Clinic of the University of Virginia which she attended via another scholarship, she undertook significant responsibilities during and after the establishment process of Barış Psychiatric Hospital.

Completing her public service duties, she continued working in her own “pre-school education centre” which later became “after school education centre”.

Later on, she established Association of Women to Support Living (KAYAD) which is the first of its kind in Northern Cyprus and a pioneer with the services and activities it provides. Mrs. Akıncı is still the President of KAYAD which is functioning also as a community centre. She has prepared, coordinated and implemented projects as to issues such as Women’s Rights, Empowering Women, Gender Equality, Environmental Awareness, Human Rights of Children and Elderly Individuals, HIV/AIDS, Prevention of Human Trafficking, Volunteerism, Young People’s Development, Summer Training and Awareness Camps, Education Development and Culture of Peace. Since the very first day it was established, KAYAD has implemented projects with the help of UN and EU contributions. These projects have been aimed at all levels of society, varying from rural areas to central towns and prioritizing the disadvantaged places. Establishing strong cooperation and a strong communication network with the stakeholders, which are central and local authorities as well as relevant civil society organisations, during the planning and implementation stages, KAYAD ensured successful implementation of the projects.

Having taken part in dozens of local, national and international projects, Mrs. Meral Akıncı continues to work voluntarily for social benefit on issues focusing on humanity, nature and environment. She has also attended, both as a speaker and as a participant, to workshops, conferences and seminars not only in Cyprus but in many different countries.

She maintains her studies related to Reconciliation Techniques, Civil Society Management, Organizing and Managing NGOs, Leadership Skills, Facilitation Techniques, Working with Disabled Individuals, Women’s Issues, Society Development, Rights and Responsibilities of Humans, Self Awareness and Conflict Resolution and Peace Building Techniques.

She has been working both in private sector and public service as a social scientist, psychologist, psychotherapist, counsellor, teacher and a trainer for more than 40 years.

Her efforts contribute to a wide scope that ranges from increasing conceptual awareness in small and big scale projects to working for legal practices.

Mrs. Akıncı is married to the Fourth President of the TRNC, His Excellency Mr. Mustafa Akıncı and has three daughters and two grandchildren. She speaks English well.