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I am a specialist in modern Middle Eastern and North African history and politics with a focus on the late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century transformations from empires to nation-states and their impact on borderlands and peoples in the peripheries. I received my PhD from the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University in 2021.    

I grew up and went to primary school in a remote hamlet in Tunceli province of Turkey, the only province with a predominantly Alevi Kurdish population and a history of pervasive state violence against its inhabitants and natural environment. My parents are both primary school graduates who worked hard as farmers raising animals to help educate their five children under the heavy economic and political circumstances of the civil war between the Turkish state and Kurdish insurgents in the 1990s.

Defying the odds, I scored in the top percentile in the nationwide university entrance exam, and registered at Boğaziçi University, an elite institution populated mostly by students from affluent backgrounds. In the summer of 2005, and in later years, I participated in a program known as the Work and Travel Program, through which university students from certain countries can travel to the United States to work and travel. Attending this program greatly empowered my imagination and self-confidence and prepared me for the challenges of higher education. 


Motivated by such a personal background and driven by an intellectual curiosity about the histories of underrepresented and marginalized peoples and places, I pay special attention to the principles of diversity in all areas of my scholarship. I take an active role and make conscious choices in my teaching, research, mentorship, and service to empower people and to contribute to the principle of equal opportunity by respecting and appreciating their differences in terms of race, religion, culture, ethnicity, gender, ability, sexual orientation, and place of origin.

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