On April 13, a seminar on the topic of “The Refugee Crisis in Turkey: Immigration, Settlement, and Integration” was held by Department of Architecture students under the leadership of their instructor, Asst. Prof. Chen-yu Chiu. The seminar highlighted the ongoing refugee crisis in the country, giving context to the presentation of the students’ design for a community center for both Syrian refugees and Turkish citizens.
The proposed center is to be built in Reyhanlı, a town very close to Turkey’s border with Syria, and is being designed by the students specifically to cater to the needs of the Syrian and Turkish population.
The project got underway two weeks before the semester began and is expected to be finalized by next year, along with a documentary on the work of the project team and the challenges they faced.
For the seminar, Dr. Chiu and his students invited speakers from various backgrounds to offer different perspectives on their project in hopes of ensuring its success in integrating the refugees in Turkish society. The speakers included Saime Özçürümez Bölükbaşı of Bilkent’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Celine Cervi from Women and Health Alliance International, faculty members from the architecture and psychology departments of Middle East Technical and Başkent universities and a representative from UNHCR Turkey.
By Sarah Atif (IR/III)