Didem Yerli is a PhD Candidate at Leiden University (Faculty of Humanities, Middle Eastern Studies) since 2017. Her doctoral research focuses on privatization, education, commerce networks and identity in the Eastern Mediterranean port cities: Constantinople, Salonica, Smyrna (1830-1923). She is investigating port cities from a historical point of view, beyond and before nation-states, as cities of cultural exchange. Didem worked on archives of port cities and ego-documents to analyse the complex intercommunal and interreligious relations of her case studies. In respect to her research she is concerned with minority questions and heritage studies in Turkey. Didem obtained her Bachelor in Sociology from Galatasaray University, worked as a Teaching Assistant for History Department at Sabancı University, and completed her Master at the same university. Before starting her PhD project she worked as a research executive in both qualitative and quantitative market research departments of global companies.