Skip to main content

Sociology: People


Canan Nese Karahasan

Canan Nese Karahasan
Canan Nese Karahasan
Edinburgh UK
Research Interests
Nationalism and National Identity, Secularism, Museums, Turkey, Islam, ethnography

PhD Research

My research focuses on how "Turkishness" is displayed in the daily functioning of museums in Turkey at a time of overturning power relations between secularists and Islamists. Through an ethnography of the state, the study looks at how the binaries of secularism and Islamism / West and East are reproduced in the daily functioning of two museums (Anitkabir and Topkapi Palace museums) narrating competing pasts of Turkishness."


Dr. Michael Rosie

Dr. James Kennedy

Conference Papers

"Ethnography of the State: Researching State Museums in Turkey" (15-17 April 2015) at BSA Annual Conference, Glasgow, UK

"Staging Islam at a Time of Unrest in Turkey: Re-organising the Holy Relics Section in the Topkapi Palace Museum" (18-23 August 2014) Invited presenter in the panel "Visual Staging of Meaning: Exploring Borders of Religion, Identity and Politics" at the WOCMES (World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies) at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara ,Turkey

"Humanizing Ataturk and Re-Asserting the Nation in the Anitkabir Museum" (22 May 2014) Paper presented at the ENNIN (Ethnicity, Nationalism, and National Identity Network) Graduate Conference Identity, Nations and Nationalism in a Changing World  at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

"Protecting 'Sacred' Items, Narrating 'Profane' Stories: Construction of 'High Islam'" (10-13 October 2013) Paper presented at the annual Middle East Studies Association Conference, New Orleans, USA

"Re-considering the Role of the Anitkabir Museum at a time of Flux in Turkey " (10-12 December 2012) Paper presented at the EUNAMUS conference National Museums in a Changing Europe, Budapest, Hungary

"Exhibiting 'Turkishness' at a time of Flux in Turkey" (26-27 April 2012) Paper presented at the post-graduate-staff conference New Directions: Theory-Method-Ethics at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

"A Unique Sociological Knowledge Production?: Cultural Elements in Turkish Sociology" (28-30 October 2010) Paper  presented at the World SSH Net Conference: Cultural Elements in Social Sciences and in Academic Labour - Epistemological and Educational Challenges Constructing a Scientific Multi-versalism, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

"The Invisible Monument" (8 June 2010) Paper presented at the Third Annual Social Anthropology Graduate Student Symposium Fieldwork at a Site Undergoing Radical Transformation: Hacibayram 2010. Ankara, Turkey


Karahasan, C.N. (2015), “(Re)framing the ‘Kurdish Issue’ Through the 2014 Scottish Referendum: Reflections on Turkish Newspapers” Scottish Affairs 24 (4): 486-496

Book Review

Sami Zubaida Beyond Islam: A New Understanding of the Middle East London: I.B. Tauris, 2011, 232 pp. Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, 12: 418–420. 

Blog Posts

"Shifting Roles of Anitkabir in New Turkey", Changing Turkey in a Changing World 15-01-2015 (Available from


Msc in Sociology and Global Change - Researching Global Social Change

"Ethnography of the State: Researching State Institutions in Turkey", March 2015

Msc in Nationlism Studies- Comparative Perspectives in Nationalism Studies

"Re-inventing Competing Traditions in Turkey",  March 2015