Özge Cordan*, Talia Özcan Aktan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 spatialand 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-114
Number of pages22
JournalMetu Journal of the Faculty of Architecture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022


1. This study is based on the research project titled “Determining Housing and Interior Design Principles and Developing Design Proposals Suitable for Modern Life and Cultural Conditions to Facilitate the Adaptation of Syrians Under Temporary Protection” run by Dr. Özge Cordan and approved by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) with grant number 118K441. As one of the output of the project, a thesis study with the same title as the project title was completed. Dr. Özge Cordan is the supervisor of the thesis study and, Talia Özcan Aktan is the writer of the thesis. The authors gratefully acknowledge TUBITAK for funding the research project with grant number 118K441 approved in 2018. We would like to thank Dr. Şebnem Ertaş, Dr. Elif Sönmez, and Dr. Çiğdem Kudiaki for their collaboration on the project at TUBITAK, run by Dr. Özge Cordan. We would also like to thank the Syrian translators for ensuring good communication between the Syrian families and the researchers and the immigrant Syrian families for their participation in this research and anonymous referees for their valuable comments and suggestions. ROTTMANN, S.B. (2020) RESPOND - Multilevel Governance of Mass Migration in Europe and Beyond, EU Horizon 2020 Research Project, Report no:770564, European Union Funding for Research & Innovation.

FundersFunder number
European Union Funding for Research & Innovation
Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştırma Kurumu118K441
Horizon 2020


    • Adaptation
    • design principles
    • homemaking
    • residential interiors
    • Syrians


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