Courage and Giving Back
New Chancellor Talks to Students
By Tyrone Burke
Photos by Chris Roussakis and Bryan Gagnon
When a sex worker was raped in 1970s Istanbul, she had nowhere to turn. As in many countries, Turkey’s legal system questioned the integrity of the victim.
A conviction seemed unlikely, but Yaprak Baltacioğlu’s father took on the case anyway. He won the case at the Supreme Court, and it established a precedent for how violence against women is treated in Turkey’s legal system.
“In those days, it wasn’t easy to prove that raping a sex worker was a crime, and I remember asking my father why he had taken that case pro bono,” said Baltacioğlu, 12th chancellor of Carleton University.
“He looked at me and said: ‘When I look back at my life, I don’t want to see a long list of personal accomplishments or lots of money. I want to know I have done good.’ He didn’t give a lot of advice, but that’s something I carried.”
Baltacioğlu gave the keynote address at the Faculty of Public Affairs’ Emerging Perspectives Graduate Conference on March 4, 2019 and she stressed the importance of giving back.