Integration of Newcomers to Ayvalık (Turkey) Via Social Integration Centers


  • Gülsüm Oygur Polat
  • Nurefşan Batmaz
  • Muharrem Melih Utkan


Immigration, Refugees, Newcomers, Social Integration, Plural Societies


“Refugee” is usually defined as a person who seeks shelter due to reasons of war, conflict, assimilation, femine, natural disasters and so forth. However, in a much more humanistic approach, we should perhaps start with Hannah Arendt’s words, “In the first place, we don’t like to be called refugees. We ourselves call each other newcomers or immigrants.” Immigration basically defines a shift in place and it is an instinctive act for human-beings; therefore, rather than being a “problem”, it actually is a solution to the problems which makes it hard or impossible to live in a certain place. Within this point of view, the aim of the research study focuses on the question of how the experiences of place and space affect the relationship between newcomers and their location. The paper focuses on the place- making experiences of newcomers, through the perception of space and its effect on individuals. Results of the research indicate that the experience of place is a vital aspect for achieving integration between newcomers and locals. Integration and adaptation are actualized when the opportunity arises for newcomers and locals to meet and cooperate with each other, both physically and socially. The dynamics of social integration is standing on two pillars which are social entrepreneurship and common acts between locals and newcomers; and through the experiences’ of place-making, it becomes possible to create and maintain a physical integration. This research paper introduces three graduation projects, known as Integration Centers, from X University, 2019 Spring semester. The projects were designed by students for social integration of Syrian people through the social entrepreneurship idea. Students created different design proposals which offer public, semi-public and private space for newcomers to encounter locals and places, and to be able to understand the relationship between individuals and place, and its effects on their integration.


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How to Cite

Oygur Polat, G. ., Batmaz, N. ., & Utkan, M. M. . (2020). Integration of Newcomers to Ayvalık (Turkey) Via Social Integration Centers. ICONARCH International Congress of Architecture and Planning, (Iconarch -IV Proceeding Book), 977–996. Retrieved from



SESSION 8B Theme: Social Structure and Politics