Adaptation of Residential Interiors for Low and Middle-Income Syrians Living in Sultanbeyli, Turkey

Cordan, Özge
Özcan Aktan, Talia
Millions of Syrians have fled to Turkey since March 2011 due to the civil war in Syria. To facilitate coexistence and cohesion between Syrians living in Turkey and local inhabitants, this study focuses on Syrians’ housing needs on a micro-scale from the viewpoint of interior design/architecture. The purpose of this study is to develop a framework for designers and researchers to adapt existing residential interiors appropriate to low- and middle-income Syrians’ needs. This study also provides a framework for developers and policymakers to achieve economically, culturally, socially, and physically supportive housing environments for Syrians. The proposed framework is based on determining housing and interior design principles and sub-principles and explaining them using a set of indicators. The field study of the case study was conducted with the voluntary participation of Syrian families in their residences in the Fatih neighborhood in Sultanbeyli, Istanbul. The data were obtained through visual and ethnographic methods in addition to the literature review. The data were then analyzed using annotated diagrams for visual and observation-based data and content analysis for interview questions. Thus, holistic information on Syrians’ culture, housing needs, and homemaking practices was acquired. According to the study results, Syrians need flexible and economic spatial- and object-based adaptations in their residential interiors appropriate to their culture to meet their lifestyle, privacy, and appropriation needs. The study will provide theoretical and practical contributions to the literature by presenting an example from Turkey and promoting future research studies.


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Citation Formats
Ö. Cordan and T. Özcan Aktan, “Adaptation of Residential Interiors for Low and Middle-Income Syrians Living in Sultanbeyli, Turkey,” ODTÜ Mimarlık Fakültesi Dergisi, vol. Volume 39, no. Issue 1, pp. 93–114, 2022, Accessed: 00, 2022. [Online]. Available: