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Research interests

I am an interdisciplinary scholar with research and teaching experience that transcend the disciplinary boundaries between political science, sociology, geography and socio-legal studies, with a thematic focus on mobility, migration and citizenship, and a regional expertise on Turkey, MENA and Europe. I hold BA in Political Science from Bogaziçi University, MA in Social and Public Policy from University of Leeds, MA in Political Science from Sabanci University. I completed my Ph.D. in the Interdisciplinary Near and Middle Eastern Studies Program and Graduate Certificate in Law and Society Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle with a dissertation titled "(Re)Bordering Territory and Citizenship on the Greek-Turkish Borderland" (2017). Before joining ISS (May 2020), I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Erasmus University Department of Public Administration and Sociology, in Horizon 2020 ReSOMA project and the Cities of Migration Project, under the supervision of Peter Scholten. Previously I also worked as visiting professor at Vienna University, Political Science Department, and as lecturer at Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society, Leiden Law School, and Leiden University College.   My research interests are (1) the interplay between border, migration and citizenship regimes; (2) extraterritorial state power, transnational ties and diaspora politics; (3) politics and policies of diversity indifferent urban contexts and cross-border regions; (4) legal consciousness, mobilization and framing **with a focus on migrants’ and minority rights; and more recently (5) urban borderscapes as embedded in a global and transnational political field of power from decolonial and degrowth perspective. In my PhD research, I examined the EU-ization of the Greek-Turkish borderland over the course of the last forty years; in other words, its transformation from a site of conflict to a site of ‘cooperation’ especially on migration management. This ethnographic research contributes to migration and citizenship theories by incorporating the discursive distinction made between legality and licitness over time in the analysis of cross-border mobility and governance practices and acts of citizenship. Inspired by critical scholars of anthropology of borders and their attentiveness to the historicization and contextualization of cross-border interactions, I show that social acceptability, as shaped by the militarized bordering practices of the last century, seems even more decisive in the way local state and non-state actors comply with or defy national policies and in the way they engage in cross-border mobility practices and interact with their counterparts across the borders, be they border police, lawyers, migrant activists, smugglers, students or businesspeople.  I am currently developing my next research agenda on urban borderscapes as embedded in a global and transnational political field of power where we observe the contours of practices and mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion (ranging from right to vote to deportation) and their discontents. Following in the footsteps of epistemological debates and key arguments of decolonial and degrowth studies*, I aim to aim to further contribute to studies and praxis of citizenship, migrants’ and minority rights. Next to that, I am the Development track coordinator of the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Joint Master Programme in Governance of Migration and Diversity ([GMD][]), and the convenor of the GMD specialization track within the ISS MA in Development Studies. I teach migration and multimethods courses, guest lecture in different courses, supervise MA theses related to (but not limited to) migration, asylum, diversity and mobility.  I welcome MA and PhD students and post-Doctoral fellows interested in any of the broad areas of research described above.  [ReSOMA]: http://www.resoma.eu/ [GMD]: https://www.gmdcentre.nl/master-governance-of-

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


  • JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
  • JS Local government Municipal government
  • JC Political theory
  • HM Sociology
  • JA Political science (General)
  • GN Anthropology
  • DR Balkan Peninsula


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