Home, which is accepted as a centre for human life, can hold diverse significance and bear various meanings for each person depending on a variety of issues, such as personal characteristics and experiences that have been collected throughout a lifetime. The bond between a person and a home and the meaning of home can be transformed over time and as a result of the various events to which the person has been subjected. In this study, internal displacement is identified as an event which has a major impact on the key attitudes and feelings towards home attachment and perception. The aim of this research is to critically examine the impact of displacement on one’s attachment towards one’s former and current places of residence and one’s perception of home. The study takes Cyprus, in particular its northern part, as a case study. Therefore, the study contributes to the fields of home, place attachment and internal displacement studies in general, as well as to the context of Cyprus in particular.
The study has investigated using qualitative and quantitative research approaches within a case study methodology. As a part of this, fieldwork research was conducted in four rural settlements located in northern Cyprus. The primary data was gathered during the fieldwork and constitutes the core of the study. Qualitative content analysis, including coding and categorisation, was used for analysing the qualitative data, while descriptive statistics, cross tabulation and the chi-square test were conducted for quantitative data analysis.
The study focuses on two groups: locals and internally displaced persons (IDPs). Locals are identified as people who have always lived in northern Cyprus, while IDPs are defined as people who were displaced from southern Cyprus as an outcome of the conflict between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. The study has identified the nature of local Turkish Cypriots’ attachment to their homes and villages, as well as the nature of internally displaced Turkish Cypriots’ attachment to their former and current houses and villages. In addition to this, perceptions of home for both locals and IDPs have been investigated in order to examine the extent to which IDPs have been affected by the displacement.
The findings of the study show that displacement has a strong impact on the place attachment of IDPs. At the end of longstanding displacement they developed multiple attachments: attachment to the places where they used to live before displacement, as well as attachment to the places where they lived after displacement. However, compared to people who have not experienced displacement, IDPs have relatively low attachments; as a result, it may be argued that they are lost between two worlds. The study also shows that low attachment does not fully impact the meaning of home for IDPs in a long-term displacement situation. The study indicates that IDPs may feel attached to a place and give similar meanings to home as non-displaced people, but this does not mean that they completely perceive the houses where they live as their homes even after they have lived there for a long time. Length of displacement, political uncertainty and ownership issues which are directly related with perception of a house as one’s home, emerge as key determinants for attachment to and perception of home.
School of ArchitectureFaculty of Technology, Design and Environment
Published by Oxford Brookes UniversityAll rights reserved.
Copyright © and Moral Rights for this thesis are retained by the author and/or other copyright owners.
A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge.
This thesis cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s).
The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.
RADAR: Research Archive and Digital Asset RepositoryAbout RADAR