I will always be proud of being a student of Rice University’s Anthropology
graduate program and I will always be grateful to George Marcus and Jim Faubion
who trusted in my intellectual capacity and supervised my graduate work from the
outset to the very end. I adore George’s constant urge for theoretical innovation and
Jim’s intellectual discipline and mentorship. I worship Stephen Tyler‘s rhetorical
power and I am jealous of Chris Kelty‘s exciting moves in the discipline. Cris is the
one who initiated my blogging experience and I do not know how much I should
thank him. I am grateful to Peter C. Caldwell who accepted to be my reader and to
Carole Speranza who put up with me in all technical details.
My fieldwork could not be possible as it happened without the support of
Aydın Uğur, current Rector of Istanbul Bilgi University. Thanks to him I could have a
teaching position in Istanbul Bilgi University’s Communication School. Not only I
survived financially, I was continously motivated by his encouragement and trust in
me. He is a great role model for me as an educator and administrator and his never-
ending support has been there since my MA studies at Boğaziçi University.
I cannot forget how supportive Sedat Ergin was in my early months. He is
still the chief editor of Milliyet daily. Journalists at his level are hard to reach, but he
was very welcoming and he remained to be an important source for me. I cannot
forget his help in contacting many high level journalists. But Serkan Arman, my dear
friend, must be noted here because he was the one who introduced me to Mr. Ergin.
Ours is a long lasting friendship with many surprising coincidences.
There are three more journalists/columnists who have befriended me and
showed me tenderly insider ways of accessing the world of journalism: CengizAktar,
Yavuz Baydar and Zeynep Göğüş. I remember being called by Mr. Aktar right in the
middle of Beşiktaş’ away game. I remember trying to talk to him despite the loud
singing of fans.
Graduate study at Rice helped me to make two dear friends: Ebru Kayaalp
and Ertan Sönmez. I knew Ebru before but our real friendship began at Rice and her
emotional and intellectual support cannot be calculated. Ertan happened to be my
angelic roommate for a year and in my last year of course work in Houston, I lived my
life’s happiest year thanks to Ebru and Ertan particularly. Their friendship and support
endured even during the fieldwork phase.
Speaking of friendships, Çetin Tankoç stood by me in all my time in İstanbul.
As my closest friend ever, I have shared with him so much of my time. Co-editing a
literary journal, playing cards, watching soccer games, inter-city trips… He has offered
me never-ending encouragement and moral support. Çetin and I were in the center of a
friendship circle which we have called Malta Collective as we socialized in an
Istanbul district called Malta. I have to single out Yasin Beyaz, Sinan Kızılkaya, Veli
Gederet, Veysel Kurşun, Sadi Celil Cengiz and Adil Kıdıl in this collective.
I owe my current teaching position as a lecturer in Istanbul Bilgi University’s
Public Relations program to two lovely colleagues: Şaylan Uran and Ayşe Kayalar.
They made my life bearable. They have become my friends. Few things are better than
working in a completely friendly workplace. I also have to thank to Aslı Tunç, who
was my chair before in Media and Communication Systems. She was sensitive my
research, helpful and a loyal follower of my blog. Galip İsen cannot be forgotten. In
the last rounds of writing, I worked under his wings. I owe learning much of lifehacks
in İstanbul to Prof. İsen.
I would like to thank a few friends who shared my anxious writing days in the
annoying 2008 summer in İstanbul: Özgür Özyılmaz, Sıla Sefercioğlu, İbrahim Can
Avcı, Özge Deniz Aydoğan, Gökçe Dervişoğlu and Filiz Yılmaz. Let me underline
that their support was not limited to summer. Özgür and Can have certainly become
my life long friends and right at this very moment in finishing up this section Can
awaits with me in a campus cafe in an early Friday evening and Özgür will later join
us to sooth my anxieties.
Ayhan Yüce deserves a special mention. He owns a fast growing Houston
based import and wholesale company. He acted like an elder brother as he continusly
cleaned up my financial mess and gave me emotional support in Houston.
One field attraction that had a deep impact in my life was to become a Beşiktaş
soccer club fan. I would like to send my greetings to loyal but mostly sad fans of
I have made some friends through my blogging activities. They have kept an
eye on my research and questioned and commented on my work. Most of them
became part of my offline life, too: Hans deWit and his wife Özlem Bankal deWit,
Sean Jeating, Çiğdem Aydın, Christian Runkel, Jessica Newman, Metin Ödemiş,
Murat Altınbaşak, İdil Jans, Selene Verri, Bertus Pieters and of course Di Mackey.
How can I forget people from the Rice Community? I wish to single out my
classmates, Eric Baum and Hutain Hejazi, and then Nahal Naficy, Julie Kutac,
Robin Anderson, Başak Demirhan, Jale Tezcan, Angela Rivas, İpek Martinez,
Brian Riedel, Michael Adair-Kriz, Ana Wandless, Jennifer Hamilton, Kris Peterson, Elitza Ranova, Anthony Potoczniak and Valeri Olson.
I want to single out some other particular persons whom I owe gratitude:
Kathrine Jensen. She stayed at Rice Anthro for a semester only but our
friendship lasted since then. She is to be the very first non-Turkish speaking person
whom I accepted as a close friend. She has been a constant reader of my blog and avid
observer of the course of my research.
Aylin Dağsalgüler. My ex-officemate, a colleague, a friend. She made my
Istanbul life more colorful for sure.
Tuğba Maran. Our Sunday coffee meetings and discussions in Bahçelievler
Özge Özyılmaz. Her calmness always had a positive impact on me. A
colleague one needs to have.
Ceren Mert. Another colleague one needs to have to discuss sensational ideas
I am grateful to Horowitz Foundation from whom I received the only
research grant for my research.
Last but certainly not least, Prof. Nezih Erdoğan, our current dean of
Communication School at Istanbul Bilgi University, kept a continous eye on my
project and provided help whenever I needed. Celil Oker, an advertising lecturer and
a detective novels author, was a fatherly personality around me while he gave great
Needless to say, all errors of fact and interpretation remain of course my own.
Finally, this dissertation is dedicated to Hrant Dink, an Armenian-Turkish
journalist who was assassinated in Istanbul during my research time. His assassination
changed the direction of my research. May his soul rest in peace.