The built environment and Syrian refugee integration in Turkey: An analysis of mobile phone data

Clio Andris, Brynne Godfrey, Carleen Maitland, Matthew McGee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

We use a large call detail record (CDR) dataset from mobile operator Türk Telekom to examine how refugees from the Syrian Refugee Crisis are integrating into Turkish society. We extract different types of callers from the social network: refugees who often call Turkish nationals, refugees who do not call Turks; Turks who often call refugees, and Turks who do not call refugees. We consider frequent phone calls between refugees and Turks to indicate high levels of bridging social capital for these users and that refugees tied to Turkish nationals through calls have integrated into the Turkish society, economically and/or socially. We also assume that Turks who often call refugees are investing in creating these relationships (although these comprise a relatively small set of users). Each user is geolocated based on the cell towers they use, to produce an activity space that approximates the parts of the country/city frequented over a time span. We ask: in what kinds of landscapes do these”bridging” members of Turkish society live? We overlay their activity spaces with infrastructural and socioeconomic indicators (i.e. distance from the Syrian border, intersection with urban amenities, etc.), and statistically measure the extent to which these users differ from the average user in the network. We found few significant geographic patterns for refugees who were calling Turks often. However, bridging Turks were found to be located near infrastructural variables such as places of worship, schools, community centers, and social centers/facilities, more often than their non-bridging counterparts. These differences were strongest in locales with Muslim and Sunni Muslim places of worship. In these locales, presumably, refugees and Turkish nationals share common values and beliefs. Our results provide quantitative evidence suggesting the significance of social amenities and meeting places for face-to-face connection and social support for the livelihoods of refugees and refugee integration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on Geospatial Humanities, GeoHumanities 2019
EditorsBruno Martins, Ludovic Moncla, Patricia Murrieta-Flores
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
ISBN (Electronic)9781450369602
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 5 2019
Event3rd ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on Geospatial Humanities, GeoHumanities 2019 - Chicago, United States
Duration: Nov 5 2019 → …

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 3rd ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on Geospatial Humanities, GeoHumanities 2019

Conference

Conference3rd ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on Geospatial Humanities, GeoHumanities 2019
CountryUnited States
CityChicago
Period11/5/19 → …

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Information Systems

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