İlkay plays as a midfielder for Manchester City in the English Premier League and for Germany’s National Football Team. The footballer has enjoyed a successful career, winning the double - Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal - in Germany in 2012 with Borussia Dortmund, as well as three Premier League titles with Manchester City.
İlkay started supporting UNHCR at the beginning of 2021 by using his public profile to raise awareness and funds for refugees around the world. In January 2021, İlkay amplified UNHCR’s winter campaign, which focused on helping refugees who were facing the cold winter weather in countries across the Middle East.
He has actively supported raising funds for refugee scholarships through the Aiming Higher initiative and has lent his major social media platforms for a takeover by a refugee scholar based in Uganda, who explained to İlkay's followers why access to a scholarship changed his life.
The importance of education was instilled in İlkay from a young age by his parents and İlkay has advocated for helping refugees access education. He has previously said: “Right now, only 3% of young refugees are in higher education. It’s hard enough losing your home and being forced to flee because of conflict, war or persecution. To also lose access to education and a future is a double blow.”