Journal of Geography
Spatial Analysis of Syrian Refugees: The Şanlıurfa CaseDiyar Karademir, Mesut Doğan
Even though the phenomenon of migration is moving from one geographical location to another, it has a significant impact on societal change and transformation. The internal unrest in Syria which began in 2011 has escalated into a civil war in the course of time. Turkey, among other bordering countries with Syria, is the one which is affected most by the war. Due to the “Open Door Policy” adopted by our country, the number of Syrian refugees has soared in Turkey, especially in our provinces on the Syrian border. Şanlıurfa is one of these provinces affected most by this situation. This study covers the Şanlıurfa Province located in the Middle Euphrates Region in Southeastern Anatolia, a large part of which is composed of plateaus. The relationship between the areas where the distribution is intense and the socioeconomical structure was examined. In order to understand the situation, in-depth interviews were made with 20 Syrian families. The questions were prepared for participants in advance, but additional questions were also asked in the course of interviews. Unique contents of the obtained data were adhered to, and the analyses were made based on the citations from the statements of participants.
Suriyeli Mültecilerin Mekânsal Analizi: Şanlıurfa ÖrneğiDiyar Karademir, Mesut Doğan
Göç olgusu, coğrafi olarak iki mekân arasında yer değiştirmenin yanı sıra toplumsal değişim ve dönüşüm üzerinde önemli etkiye sahiptir. Suriye’de 2011 yılında ortaya çıkan iç karışıklıklar zamanla bir iç savaşa dönüşmüştür. Suriye ile sınır komşusu olan ülkeler arasında savaştan en çok etkilenen ülkelerin başında Türkiye gelmektedir. Ülkemizin benimsediği “Açık Kapı” politikası nedeniyle başta Suriye sınırında yer alan illerimizde olmak üzere Suriyeli mülteci sayısı hızla artmıştır. Şanlıurfa İli bu durumdan en fazla etkilenen illerin başında gelmektedir. Bu çalışma Güneydoğu Anadolu Bölgesi Orta Fırat Bölümü’nde yer alan büyük bir kısmı plato sahalarından oluşan Şanlıurfa İlini kapsamaktadır. Suriyeli mültecilerle ilgili Şanlıurfa İl Milli Eğitim Müdürlüğü PİCTES Biriminden alınan farklı yaş gruplarında okula devam eden öğrenci sayılarından ve Göç İdaresi Genel Müdürlüğü’nün yayınladığı bültenler ışığında Şanlıurfa İlinde kamp dışında kalan Suriyeli sığınmacıların ilçeler bazında dağılış analizleri yapılmıştır. Dağılışın fazla olduğu sahalarla sosyo-ekonomik yapı arasındaki bağlantı incelenmiştir. Çalışmada durum tespiti yapmak amacıyla 20 Suriyeli aileyle derinlemesine görüşme tekniği uygulanmıştır. Önceden katılımcılar için sorular hazırlanmış ancak konuşmanın seyrine göre katılımcılara yeni sorularda sorulmuştur. Elde edilen verilerin özgün içeriklerine sadık kalınmış ve söylenilenlerden alıntılar yapılarak analizler yapılmıştır.
Qualitative and quantitative research techniques were employed in the study. Quantitative data: In the light of the bulletins published by Directorate General of Migration Management and based on the data regarding the students in various age groups who attended schools in 2018- 2019 academic year in Şanlıurfa province by districts and schools obtained from PICTES Department of Şanlıurfa Provincial Directorate for National Education, the neighborhoods where the schools are located were determined and distribution maps for the districts and neighborhoods were prepared. Qualitative techniques: In-depth interviews and participant observation techniques were used with 20 Syrian families to determine the situation of Syrian refugees. The questions were prepared for participants in advance, but additional questions were also asked in the course of interviews. Unique contents of the obtained data were adhered to, and the analyses were made based on the citations from the statements of participants. In order to obtain more realistic results from the study, snowball sampling or the chain sampling technique was used in neighborhoods where spatial clustering was intense.
Şanlıurfa is one of the provinces affected most by the civil war in Syria. Determination of the number of Syrian students attending schools in various age groups, determination of the spatial clustering of Syrian refugees in the Şanlıurfa province, determination of the relationship between the spaces where distribution is intense and socio-economical structure, being able to make integration plans by age groups, and socio-economical, cultural and spatial influences of Syrian refugees on the city are the factors that make this study significant.
Obtaining important results at the end of the face-to-face interviews made with Syrian refugees regarding their status before migration, migration processes, their nutrition and sheltering, their belonging, relationships with local community and repatriation after the war are other factors which make this study important.
The distribution of Syrian students in the Şanlıurfa province by districts and neighborhoods helped us gain insight about the distribution of Syrian refugees in the province. Accordingly, it was observed that the refugees prefer to settle in the Akçakale, Ceylanpınar and Suruç districts as they are located on the border, and in the Haliliye and Eyyübiye districts as there are more employment opportunities, possibilities and a chance to have an urban life-style in these districts. The number of Syrian refugees in the Birecik and Viranşehir districts is higher than that of the Bozova, Halfeti, Hilvan and Siverek districts because they are located on the historical Silk Road. Bozova, Hilvan and Halfeti are socio-economically underdeveloped districts and consequently, the distribution of Syrian refugees in these districts is not high.
The distribution of Syrian refugees by neighborhoods is shaped depending on the socio-economical structure. While the distribution in rural neighborhoods is low, the areas in the cities where there are central working areas and where the home rental prices are low are preferred. In the Haliliye and Eyyübiye districts where the distribution of refugees is high, the highest distribution of refugees is observed in Devteşti, Bağlarbaşı, Süleymaniye, Ahmet Yesevi, Cengiz Topel, Bamyasuyu, Şehitlik, Yeşil Direk, İmam Bakır, Şair Nabi, Sancaktar, Hayatı Harrani, Eyüpkent, Direkli, Akşemsettin, Eyyüpnebi, Muradiye, Akabe, Topdağı, Haleplibahçe, Kurtuluş, Onikiler and Hakimdede neighborhoods. Some of these neighborhoods constitute the core of Şanlıurfa province, but squatting is rather high in some others as a result of migration from rural areas and people from low income groups are settled in them. For this reason, the Syrians who have economic difficulties are mostly distributed in these neighborhoods.
Even though the consequences of businesses started by Syrians in business centers are positive in terms of supply and demand in Şanlıurfa, as in many other provinces, the local community shows individual and mass reactions to Syrians as they are regarded as low-cost labor and the number of unemployed persons in the province has increased. Even though social and spatial clusters formed by Syrian refugees have positive consequences in terms of having their own identity and culture, this seems to create problems in respect to their sense of belonging and social cohesion. As a matter of fact, it is observed that neighbor relations are weakened and exclusion has increased after 2017. Furthermore, the provision of healthcare and education services to Syrian refugees for free sets off reactions among the local community.
One of the issues that makes it difficult for female Syrian refugees to fit into society is the perspective of the local community on female children or women. Seeing Syrian women as a purchasable and sellable commodity, having them as second wives, getting them to marry with old persons for money make it difficult for female refugees to fit into the community.
As a consequence, Syrian refugees have become one of the most important problems for our country. Although the local community exhibits some exclusionary behaviors against the Syrians, the majority of the participants are not considering going back to Syria for security reasons.