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Objective:
With this study I aim to address the issues that Turkish immigrant communities
face in terms of housing choices, lifestyle adaptation bound by traditions and,
social integration with local communities in Montreal. Consequently, I will
emphasize on the improvement of this situation through spatial configurations
and arrangements in their homes, and certain urban interventions intended to
positively affect their social interactions with the neighborhood and
contributions to the society, as well as create a better public and private
balance.

Context: In
several societies there has been an ever-increasing “play the game by our rules
or leave” attitude towards the migrants which posed a problem in their
adaptation process to the patterns and values of the host country without
losing their own traditions and cultures (Hanley, Ruble & Garland, 2008). Some
of the people from Turkey come as a family, either as skilled professionals or
trade workers, or they start a family after they arrive. Most of them tend to
bring these rich Turkish, and Islamic cultures with them and try to sustain
these cultures through their new lives in Canada. By trying to preserve their
cultural heritage and religious identity, willingly or unwillingly they tend to
seclude themselves from surrounding neighborhoods. This actually presents
itself in their housing choices, lifestyles, job opportunities, and the balance
between their private and public interactions. It is stated that integration of
the migrant communities becomes a huge challenge with different cultural norms,
unfavorable labor markets, racial injustice, and language obstacles (Hanley,
Ruble & Garland, 2008).

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Hypothesis and
Approach: The hypothesis is that by
providing physical environments with better spatial qualities within both home
and in urban scale through the use of design and policies, it is possible to
improve the conditions of integration and adaptation process of Turkish
immigrants in Montreal. I find it important that cultural identity plays a
major role in private and public behavior, thus providing useful information
for design intervention. I also argue that by the help of public interaction
with local communities using multicultural common spaces within Montreal, a
stronger sense of integration and belonging could emerge among Turkish
immigrant communities. Religious and visible minorities can have a community
sense of belonging through their experiences only within these kinds of
multicultural common spaces which inherently sustain a growing Canadian
identity (Dib, Donaldson & Turcotte, 2008).

Methodology: The
research will first entail the analysis of how these Turkish people are
affected after they migrated to Canada, compared to their old lifestyles, habits
and cultural norms. Then, I will conduct several interviews with people at Turkish
community centers within Montreal in order to build on to the previous
analysis, and shed light onto the living conditions of some of these immigrants
and the challenges they face. Finally, with the help of gathered information, some
target-oriented solutions in terms of design intervention and migrant, housing
and urban policies will be put forward.

Significance: This
study is a valuable opportunity in defining the reality of the link between
cultural identity and integration through the physical attributes of a space,
all the while elaborating the role of public and private interactions at play. It
lays out a guideline as to how to approach the problem of integrating immigrant
communities into Canadian everyday life and create a social mix of local and
foreign to benefit for the future development and prosperity of Montreal.  

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