Esma is a PhD candidate in both Anthropology (sociocultural) and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. She is specializing in gender issues in Islam, state-society relations, language and politics, and the interaction between religion and capitalism with a geographical focus on MENA Region and Central Asia. Her dissertation research investigates what it means to be a pious Muslim businesswoman in a highly male-dominated and secular Turkish business landscape well integrated into the capitalist economic system.
Esma holds her M.A. in European Studies from Sabanci University and her B. A. in International Relations from Beykent University in Turkey. Her master’s thesis investigated the reasons behind a profound change occurred in the perceptions of Islamist women towards the Turkey’s membership into the European Union, from a categorical rejection to a fervid support.
She taught at Butler University as an adjunct faculty.