Determination of syrians re-making home interiors through visual research methods: The sultanbeyli case


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Cordan Ö., Özcan Aktan T.

A/Z ITU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture, vol.18, no.2, pp.383-396, 2021 (Scopus) identifier

Abstract

© 2021, Istanbul Teknik Universitesi, Faculty of Architecture. All rights reserved.One of the most important problems of Syrians subjected to forced migration since 2011 is obtaining shelter. This study explores how displaced Syrians living in Sultanbeyli, a district in Istanbul, Turkey, are re-making their home interiors. Syrians in Sultanbeyli are transforming their residences, especially indoors, based on their physical and psychological needs and cultural habits. This paper begins with a brief introduction followed by background information about such related concepts as “house,” “home,” and “home-making,” and home re-making practices in the context of forced migration. The Sultanbeyli case is then explored. Sultanbeyli is chosen as a study area because it maintains a supportive living environment for displaced Syrians. The case study was conducted with Syrian families of middle or lower income groups in their home environment. The method of the study was based on visual research methods, including the use of photographs, drawings, physical traces and annotated diagrams. Data were obtained regarding family structure and composition, lifestyle, activities, spatial use and organization, and furniture layout. The findings show that social, cultural, and behavioral codes have an important role in home re-making processes and practices. They also show that the supportive relationship between people and their living environment has an effect on developing a sense of belonging and place attachment. More specifically, they show that a supportive living environment also enhances cultural hybridization over time. Because of this, it is crucial to conduct new research studies with participant groups to follow the changes that take place over time.