“Transformation from Rural to Urban”
A project titled "Witnesses of the Transformation from Rural to Urban: Migrant Women/A Socio-cultural Change Analysis" was initiated by the Cyprus International University Women and Gender Studies Center (WGSRC).
WGSRC Director and project manager Assist. Prof. Dr. Mihrican Aylanç made a statement about the purpose of the study which aims to identify the women who settled/ were forced to settle in Göçmenköy due to forced internal migration in Nicosia. The personal migration stories of these women will be recorded which will help to determine how and in what way the migrations affected women's lives, their adaptation to the new life and changes in Göçmenköy. She also stated that women's personal histories and the unforgettable moments will be investigated, as well as the adaptation processes and how urbanization affected these women will be investigated.
Assist. Prof. Dr. Aylanç noted that it is important to record the migration stories of Cypriot women who migrated because of the war in Cyprus between 1958-1974. Aylanç said, “Göçmenköy is only one of the areas created for Cypriot immigrants to take refuge in. This will be our starting point; we will investigate the effects of the forced internal migration on women living on the Island of Cyprus.”
Aylanç pointed out that immigrant women settled in Göçmenköy and became part of a new life here, adding that they wanted to create a gender-oriented social memory record regarding the migration process by investigating the socio-cultural and socio-psychological conditions of immigrants.
Aylanç stated that the studies on forced migration due to war and conflict started very late in the world and in Cyprus, emphasizing that asylum and refugee issues have been neglected for a long time. Reminding that women's migration experiences remained in the background due to the hot war, Aylanç noted that she believes with this study they will be recording very valuable stories of women who contribute significantly to daily life.
Aylanç stated that in the study, they will examine the traumatic events and situations that caused women to become refugees, the decision-making process to migrate, the experiences they had during migration, the situation and conditions in the new settlement, and the new “normal” life in comparison to life before migration.
Pointing out that it will also be investigated whether migration is coded as a success story by women, Aylanç said, “We aim to bring the real-life stories of immigrant women into our social memory. We plan to complete the project by 2024 and publish research findings as articles and a two-volume book.”