Data Analytics without Borders: Multi-Layered Insights for Syrian Refugee Crisis

This study aims to shed light on various aspects of refugees’ lives in Turkey using mobile call data records of Türk Telekom, which is enriched with numerous local data sets. To achieve this, we made use of several techniques in addition to a novel methodology we developed for this particular domain. Our results showed that refugees are highly mobile as a survival strategy, a significant number of whom work as seasonal workers. Most prefer to live in relatively cheap neighborhoods, close to city transport links and fellow refugees. The ones living in low-status neighborhoods appear to be introvert, living in a closed neighborhood. However, the middle and upper class refugees appear to be the opposite. Fatih, İstanbul was found as an important hub for refugees. Finally, the officially registered refugee numbers do not reflect the real refugee population in Turkey. Due to their high mobility, refugees lag behind in keeping up-to-date information about their residential address, resulting in a significant discrepancy between the official numbers and the real numbers. We believe that policy makers can benefit from the proposed methods in this study to develop real-time solutions for the well-being of refugees.