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By : Ipek Yürekli, Arda Inceoglu

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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