Skip to content


Berna Turam

Berna Turam received her Ph.D. in sociology from McGill University. She has an abiding interest in conducting ethnography on state-society interaction, government and the city, urban space and democracy, political Islam and ordinary Muslims, religion and politics, secularisms, and politics of gender Middle East. She is the author of Gaining Freedoms: Claiming Space in Istanbul and Berlin (Stanford University Press, 2015); Between Islam and the State: The Politics of Engagement (Stanford University Press, 2007), and the editor of Secular State and Religious Society: Two Forces at Play in Turkey (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). In addition, she published articles in peer-reviewed journals including British Journal of Sociology, Nations and Nationalism and International Feminist Journal of Politics, Journal of Democracy and International Journal of Urban and Regional Studies. She co-edited a special issue, entitled “Secular Muslims?” in Comparative Studies of South America, Africa and the Middle East. Most recently, her article, entitled “Primacy of Space in Politics: Bargaining Space, Power and Freedom in an Istanbul Neighborhood,” won the best article award from the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. Currently, she is conducting research on the politics of LGBTQ under the pro-Islamic government in Turkey, and writing a paper on political pluralism commissioned by the Global Center of Pluralism, an initiative of Aga Khan and the government of Canada.


  • Professor of Sociology and International Affairs, Northeastern University
  • Local Affiliate, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University