I am currently working under the supervision of Professor Marc David Baer. I previously completed my Master’s degree at the LSE in 2013-14, and have spent the past 4 years at think-tanks, having worked as research assistant at the Rome-based Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.
Provisional thesis title
Towards a “New” Turkishness: Islam, Education and the Making of the “Good Citizen” in the 1950s
My project looks at the evolution of Turkey’s national identity under Turkey’s first post-Kemalist, conservative government led by the then Prime Minister Adnan Menderes between 1950 and 1960. In this quest, it employs national education as an instrument of analysis, motivated by the understanding that at the crux of educational change rests questions of identity. Accordingly, my project examines the shifts in educational policy in this period, and seeks to understand how the pedagogical discourse regarding secularism and the chief function of Islam evolved in these years. Based on these findings, I aim the extrapolate the ways in which the Menderes government reconsidered the roles of secularism and religion in defining what it meant to think of one’s self as Turkish in the 1950s. The project also seeks to place Turkey’s process of identity-formation in global perspective, and thereby to understand to what extent Turkey’s engagement with Islam and its changing educational mission was a response to various international developments and transformations within the context of the Cold War.