I was born and raised in Turkey by a British mother and a Turkish father who loved travelling. My frequent visits to the many ancient sites in Turkey provided me with a love for art and history which finally directed me towards studying classical archaeology at Ege University, Izmir, Turkey. As an archaeology student I worked at the excavations of Antandros in Turkey for seven consecutive summers where I studied the pottery from the site both for my B.A. and my M.A. degree.
After I received my Master’s degree in Classical Archaeology in 2007, I embarked on a new career as a licensed tour guide. For 11 years I travelled throughout Turkey leading archaeological tours and trekking tours in Turkish, English, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. As a young traveler myself, from the age of 25 I went on long cross-continent journeys discovering new places and cultures. All my travels enlightened me in many ways about cultural diversity, history, languages and many other aspects of our world.
In 2017 I started working as the Assistant Director at the Aphrodisias Excavations, a project in which the University of Oxford is a main collaborator. At Aphrodisias, I found myself once again in the world of archaeology, among some of the most accomplished and revered scholars of our time. This gave me an insight into what life is like at the University of Oxford, a place that gave me a sense of belonging from the first day of my visit here in 2018.
After a gap of 12 years, I have returned to the academic world for a doctoral degree to study a subject that has interested me for the past 20 years. My DPhil research will investigate the open-air sanctuaries of the 1st Millennium BC in Western Anatolia with the aim of understanding the perception of nature and natural phenomena in antiquity and the use of specific natural spaces, some of which are still being used by locals as sacred spaces today.
This has all become possible through the generous scholarship granted by the Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Graduate Scholarship Programme to which I am deeply grateful. It is a privilege to be a scholar at the Ertegun House and to be a member of its outstanding community. I hope to continue researching and publishing both academic and popular papers in order to transfer the Ertegun mission to Turkey and promote it to the full extent of my potential.