Zehra is a PhD student in History at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her research considers whether ethnic, religious and racial labels have helped or hindered the integration and development of Turkish migrants in the UK between 1971-1999. Framed as an oral history project focussed on the London boroughs of Hackney and Haringey her work will specifically interrogate the labels ‘white’ and ‘Muslim’ in relation to the Turkish diaspora and how these labels have changed and impacted the community over time. Zehra’s research, whilst historically grounded, will engage with sociological and ethnographic studies using the Turkish speaking migrant population as a case study to extrapolate difficulties, invisibility and the prejudice experienced by other migrant groups.
Zehra completed her BA in history at Birkbeck College, University of London in 2015 and followed this with an MA in European History as the Eric Hobsbawm Scholar graduating in 2018. Her MA dissertation titled ‘”The Ugly King in Paris”: Turkish Exile in Europe, 1971-1999’ used a micro-historical approach to examine the Turkish experience of exile in Europe. Her wider research interests include poverty, female criminality, trans-nationalism and intersections between race, class, generation and gender.