She grew up in Turkey. Her father was the director of an orphanage house and school, and her mother worked at home. She has three sisters; two of them are academics as well, and the other one is doing her MA.
Professor Yanikkaya went to the United States as an exchange student at the age of 17. It was a life-changing experience for her, and she still keeps in touch with her host families. After she returned to Turkey, she studied radio, television and cinema in Ankara, and started working at radio stations and television companies while she was still a university student. Then, she decided to move to Istanbul, the heart of the media sector in Turkey, and worked at a production company as an assistant director of a TV show for a short while until she figured out that it wasn’t exactly what she wanted to do.
After living in the southern coast of Turkey for a year and a half, she returned to Istanbul and started working at the Department of Radio, Television and Cinema, Faculty of Communications of Yeditepe University as a research and teaching assistant, before she became a Professor of Communication Studies, Vice Dean of the Faculty and head of her own department in the following years.
After almost 20 years, she felt the urge to make a radical change. She’d been to the States, travelled to many countries in Europe, did post-doctoral research in the UK, spent two months in Mexico. But, she desperately wanted to move somewhere she doesn’t know much about yet and still be able to speak English, live in an urban area near the sea, and explore a rich culture. New Zealand seemed to be the best choice.
Last updated: 01-Aug-2017 8.50am
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