Sinan Ekim currently working under the supervision of Professor Marc David Baer. Having previously completed his Master’s degree at LSE in 2013-14.
He holds a B.A. (Hons) in History from Trinity College at the University of Toronto and an MSc in International History from the London School of Economics, where he completed the Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation stream. His dissertation is on the evolution of Turkish nationalism in the 1950s, examining how the changing approaches to history education in this period reflected a changing understanding of national identity. Before starting the Ph.D. programme, Sinan was a Senior Research and Executive Assistant at the Brookings Institution, a think-tank in Washington, DC. Between 2018-2021, he also served as an Associate Fellow at the Rome-based think-tank Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), working on the Turkish economy, Turkish politics, and Turkish-Western and Turkish-Middle Eastern relations. In the department, Sinan served as the cohort representative for the Staff Student Liaison Committee for the last two years of his Ph.D. and organised the department’s “induction week” for Ph.D. students in Autumn 2019.
Provisional thesis title
Towards a “New” Turkishness: Islam, Education and the Making of the “Good Citizen” in the 1950s
His 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, his 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, he aims to 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.