Welcome! I am a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Political Science at Duke University and a Middle East Initiative predoctoral fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. I am also affiliated with DevLab@Duke, where I am part of the Machine Learning for Peace project. I specialize in Political Economy and Political Methodology. I hold an M.A. in Economics, a B.A. in Economics, and a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations, all from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul.
My research interests lie at the intersection of the political economy of democratic backsliding, digital media, and public services. I am particularly interested in how aspiring autocrats erode democracies while consolidating popular support. My research focuses on two mechanisms through which autocrats build and maintain support: first, their attempts to capture the media and the resulting media bias, and second, the strategic deployment of public services. I employ various methods such as natural language processing, geospatial analyses, and experimental and quasi-experimental designs to tackle these research questions.
In my dissertation, I develop a political media capture theory to explain the variation we see in media capture strategies. I also look at how such strategies affect media bias and how ownership characteristics and structure shape whether such bias is demand-driven (because of consumers) or supply-driven (because of media owners).