ACG 150

Ilay Romain Ors, PhD

Associate Professor of Social Anthropology, Deree – The American College of Greece



Harvard University
Joint Ph.D. Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies

Harvard University
M.Phil. Middle Eastern Studies

Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey
B.A. Sociology

Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey
B.A. Political Science and International Relations

Ilay Romain Ors is Associate Professor in Social Anthropology and a member of the Sociology Department at Deree – The American College of Greece. She is currently a Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies, a recent Research Affiliate at the University of Oxford, an Independent Scholar at the Independent Social Research Foundation, a Board Member at ACG Institute for Global Affairs and at IHCLA. Professor Ors has been researching, teaching, and publishing on a variety of subjects in the interdisciplinary fields of migration, urban studies, minorities, social movements, identity formation, intercultural communication, everyday life, and political relations in Turkey, Greece, and the Aegean.


Select Publications

Diaspora of the City: Stories of Cosmopolitanism from Istanbul and Athens. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)

İstanbullu Rumlar ve 1964 Sürgünleri [Greek Orthodox community of Istanbul (Rum Polites) and 1964 Expulsions]. (İstanbul: İletişim, 2019).

“Lerian Palimpsests: On Surprising Layers in Ethnographic Research.” ISRF Bulletin. 28 (2023): 31–41.

“Former Byzantine Churches are being converted to mosques –this threatens Istanbul’s cosmopolitan identity.” With Tugba Tanyeri-Erdemir. The Conversation. September 15, 2020.

“Tensions mount at Greek border with Turkey amid contested history of migration in the Aegean.” The Conversation. March 4, 2020.

“Απο Τουρκία στην Ελλάδα: Τούρκοι που έρχονται, επισκέπτονται, διαβαίνουν, μεταναστεύουν” [From Turkey to Greece: Turks who come, visit, transit, migrate]. In Η «Νέα» Τουρκία εκ των έσω [The “New” Turkey from within]. Millas, I. (ed.). Athens: Sideris, 2019, 215-230.

“Genie in the Bottle: Gezi Park, Taksim Square, and the realignment of democracy and space in Turkey.” In Toward New Democratic Imaginaries – Istanbul Seminars on Islam, Culture and Politics. Benhabib, Seyla & Kaul, Volker (eds.). New York: Springer, 2016, 26-33.

“Cosmopolitan Nostalgia: Geographies, Histories, and Memories of the Rum Polites.” In Istanbul: Living with Difference in a Global City. Fischer Onar, N., Pearce, S., Keyman, F. (eds.). New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2018, 81-96.

“Beyond the Greek and Turkish Dichotomy: The Rum Polites of Istanbul and Athens.” South European Society & Politics 11.1. (2006): 79-94.