Dr Anu Leinonen returned on 1.1.2021 to her position as the Executive Officer of the Foundation of the Finnish Institute in the Middle East following an 18-month research leave in Turkey and Lebanon. In her research, Dr Leinonen has focused on nationalism and minorities in Turkey.
Owing to the pandemic, Dr Leinonen spent a large share of her research leave sitting on her own sofa at home in Istanbul. The planned visits to Turkey’s Gaziantep, Van, and Tunceli were cancelled, as was a bus trip to Iraqi Kurdistan.
Dr Leinonen first assumed the position of Executive Officer at the Institute’s Foundation in 2008. Despite the many benefits of living in Istanbul, she has been very happy to return to her post in Finland.