This study suggests that although there are no apparent clues in the built environment of informal housing settlements
developed by immigrants from rural areas, urbanization processes lead to acculturation. It is possible to trace this transformation
by utilizing semantic tools.
Istanbul has experienced a major population increase due to immigration from rural areas in the last two decades. Most
buildings in the areas developed by these new citizens appear to be impermanent and unfinished. This study suggests
that regarding to the evaluation of such settlements some of the widely accepted assumptions may not be valid, and
new ways of understanding involved processes are necessary. This study suggests acculturation occurs in such areas,
contrary to the general belief held until the end of 1990's. These processes are explained with the semantic model of
the 'home' suggested in this study. This is a temporal and 'living' model, based on the idea that as a result of processes
of urbanization people's meanings associated with their homes change. This model is used as a tool to predict these
changes in the meanings and explain them in relevance with processes of acculturation. The results of the study are
expected to contribute both to semantic research and research on illegal settlements.
Keywords : Meaning, Urbanization, Home, Acculturation.
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