21 JANUARY 2019



In this context, Türk Telekom evaluated the local and international studies, reports, academic papers, governmental outputs that were carried out specifically for the refugees in Turkey and identified the priority areas respectively Safety & Security, Health, Education, Unemployment and Integration areas for emergency action planning. However, Türk Telekom believe that these data will not only contribute to the 5 major problems and issues mentioned above, but also contribute to the research to be done in other fields. Within this scope, Türk Telekom would like to thank the current and future partners for having explicitly stated the questions, issues and challenges the populations that are confronted with.

From April 2011 to September 2016, the number of Syrian citizens, escaped from the civil war in Syria and Syrian refugees in Turkey reached 2.7 million, and indeed, with the other refugees, this number exceeds 3.5 million. At the beginning, immigration of Syrians to Turkey was seen as short termed and temporary visit, however, now it has been anticipated that they will be staying in Turkey for a longer time period and the significant portion of the Syrian population will not turn back their countries.

In this Project, Türk Telekom aims to ease problems of refugees and to support them by sharing information of its customers having refugee status with researchers, think tanks, aid commissions, unions, related public institutions that have activities in local, regional, continental and international arenas.

In addition, this project have intention to contribute solution of 5 major problems, having elements as increasing psychological resilience of refugees, decreasing risk factors emanating from their negative life conditions.

Socio-cultural factors can be differentiated by different age, gender, ethnicity or religious groups. In other words, they cannot be generalized. Using the same problem solving methods for all the risk areas will decrease the impact of the support programs. Therefore, we are of the opinion that Türk Telekom datasets will have crucial impact on the research studies including right target groups and classifications. 


Integration of refugees have different aspects, and should encompass legal, economic, and social processes. From the perspective of a legal process, refugees have the rights to seek employment, to engage in income-generating activities, to acquire movable and immovable property at least like non-nationals and to enjoy the freedom of movement under the terms of the 1951 Refugee Convention. According to the Convention, they also have the rights to access elementary education (at least like nationals), and to access higher-level education (at least like non-nationals). Second, integration should be considered as an economic process. Refugees should become less dependent on the state through the usage of the rights that are mentioned. Local integration cannot occur if refugees are excluded from the local economy and if their standard of living is lower than the poorest members of the community. In massive refugee movements, income-generating activities can be scarce for refugee households. Thirdly, as a social process, refugees must be able to live without discriminatory or exploitative behavior of authorities or nationals towards them. Social integration process of refugees depends on both pre and post migration experiences. Moreover, social integration mainly depends on four factors that are immigrants’ age, their marital status, gender, and reasons behind the migration. Social integration is a reciprocal process, which is important both for the people of host countries and refugees. Enhancing the social interaction can facilitate it.

Although there are many issues which make interaction difficult for people like language barriers, health problems, traumas, biases, different cultural codes, etc. there are safe and familiar domains for people to interact with each other.


  • Attitude of bureaucracy
  • Ambiguity in the status of refugees and inadequate communication
  • Unemployment and poor living conditions
  • Difficulties in reaching the refugee population
  • Difficulties in developing neighborhood relations


21 JANUARY 2019

Welcome to the homepage of the Data for Refugees (D4R) Challenge Workshop. This workshop will gather stakeholders seeking to use Big Data for improving the living conditions of refugees. The Challenge participants will present their findings at the Workshop, and Awards will be distributed on different categories:
Health, education, social integration, unemployment, safety & security, respectively.

The presentations will be in English.

Date and Location

This workshop will take place on the 21th of January 2019 at Boğaziçi University, Albert Long Hall.

Participation and Registration

The workshop is free to attend, but security requires the names of attendees to enter the university on the day of the workshop. Please register if you like to attend.

First Name
Last Name

09:00 - 09:30   Opening talks (Boğaziçi University, TUBITAK, Türk Telekom)
09:30 - 10:00   D4R Challenge Award Ceremony
10:00 - 11:00   Session 1 (Oral)
Reducing measles risk in Turkey through social integration of Syrian refugees Paolo Bosetti, Piero Poletti, Massimo Stella, Bruno Lepri, Stefano Merler and Manlio De Domenico Data Analytics without Borders: Multi-Layered Insights for Syrian Refugee Crisis Ozgun Ozan Kılıç, Mehmet Ali Akyol, Oğuz Işık, Banu Günel Kılıç, Arsev Umur Aydınoğlu, Elif Sürer, Hafize Şebnem Düzgün, Sibel Kalaycıoğlu and Tuğba Taşkaya Temizel UDMIT: An Urban Deep Map for Integration in Turkey Sedef Turper Alışık, Damla Bayraktar Aksel, Asım Evren Yantaç, Lemi Baruh, Sibel Salman, İlker Kayı, Ahmet İçduygu and Ivon Bensason 11:00 - 12:00   Session 2 (Oral)
AROMA_CoDa: Assessing Refugees’ Onward Mobility through the Analysis of Communication Data Harald Sterly, Benjamin Etzold, Lars Wirkus, Patrick Sakdapolrak, Jacob Schewe, Carl-Friedrich Schleussner and Benjamin Hennig Measuring fine-grained multidimensional integration using mobile phone metadata: the case of Syrian refugees in Turkey Michiel Bakker, Daoud Piracha, Patricia Lu, Keis Bejgo, Mohsen Bahrami, Yan Leng, Jose Balsa-Barreiro, Julie Ricard, Alfredo Morales, Vivek Singh, Burcin Bozkaya, Selim Balcisoy and Alex Pentland Quantified Understanding of Syrian Refugee Integration in Turkey Wangsu Hu, Ran He, Jin Cao, Lisa Zhang, Huseyin Uzunalioglu, Ahmet Akyamac and Chitra Phadke 12:00 - 14:00   Session 3 (Poster) and lunch
Refugees in undeclared employment - A case study in Turkey Fabian Bruckschen, Till Koebe, Melina Ludolph, Maria Francesca Marino and Timo Schmid Mobile Data for Mobility: Travel and Communication Patterns of Syrian Refugees Eda Beyazıt, Ervin Sezgin, Kerem Arslanli and Mehmet Gencer Segregation and Sentiment: Estimating Refugee Segregation and its Effects Using Digital Trace Data Neal Marquez, Emilio Zagheni and Ingmar Weber Integration of Syrian refugees: insights from D4R, media events and housing market data Simone Bertoli, Paolo Cintia, Fosca Giannotti, Etienne Madinier, Caglar Ozden, Michael Packard, Dino Pedreschi, Hillel Rapoport, Alina Sirbu and Biagio Speciale Exploring Refugee Mobility due to Large Scale Events using Mobile Phone Records Fatima K. Abu Salem, Al-Abbas Khalil, Ahmad Dhaini, Joachim Diederich, Shady Elbassuoni and Wassim El Hajj An Overview of Group Behavior on Turkey Humberto T. M-Neto, Jussara M. Almeida, Artur Ziviani, Virgilio A. F. Almeida, Jaqueline Faria de Oliveira, Douglas C. Teixeira and Haron C. Fantecele New Approaches to the Study of Spatial Mobility and Economic Integration of Refugees in Turkey Steven Reece, Franck Duvell, Carlos Vargas-Silva and Zovanga Kone Syrian Refugee Integration in Turkey: Evidence from Call Detail Records Tugba Bozcaga, Fotini Christia, Elizabeth Harwood, Constantinos Daskalakis and Christos Papadimitriou Optimizing the Access to Healthcare Services in Dense Refugee Hosting Urban Areas: A Case for Istanbul Tarik Altuncu, Nur Sevencan and Ayse Seyyide Kaptaner Social Integration of Syrian Refugees: Some Insights from Call Detail Record Datasets Nuran Bayram-Arli, Fatih Cavdur, Mine Aydemir, Fadime Aksoy and Asli Sebatli Refugee Integration in Turkey: A Study of Mobile Phone Data Ismail Uluturk, Ismail Uysal and Onur Varol Measuring Segregation of Syrian Refugees via Mobile Call Detail Records Fatih Uludağ, Halit Eray Çelik, Serbest Ziyanak, Murat Canayaz and Fikriye Ataman Reaching all children:A data-driven allocation strategy of educational resources for Syrian refugees. Suad Aldarra, Lorenzo Lucchini, Elisa Omodei and Laura Alessandretti Developing Integration Policy for Refugees through Mobile Phone Data Analysis: A Study on Türk Telekom Customers Ibrahim Zincir, Tohid Ahmed Rana, Ayselin Yıldız and Dilaver Arıkan Açar 14:00 - 15:00   Session 4 (Oral)
Measuring and mitigating behavioural segregation as an optimisation problem: the case of Syrian refugees in Turkey Daniel Rhoads, Javier Borge-Holthoefer and Albert Solé-Ribalta Refugee Mobility: Evidence from Phone Data in Turkey Luisito Bertinelli, Rana Comertpay, Anastasia Litina, Jean-François Maystadt, Benteng Zou and Michel Beine Mobility and Calling Behavior to Assess the Integration of Syrian Refugees in Turkey Antonio Luca Alfeo, Mario Giovanni C.A. Cimino, Bruno Lepri and Gigliola Vaglini 15:00 - 16:00   Session 5 (Oral)
Characterizing the Mobile Phone Use Patterns of Refugee Hosting Provinces in Turkey Ross Gore, Meltem Y. Sener, Christine Boshuijzen-van Burken, Erika Frydenlund, Engin Bozdag and Christa de Kock Improve Education Opportunities for Better Integration of Syrian Refugees in Turkey Marco Mamei, Seyit Cilasun, Marco Lippi, Francesca Pancotto and Semih Tumen Towards an Understanding of Refugee Segregation, Isolation, Homophily and Ultimately Integration in Turkey Using Call Detail Records Jeremy Boy, David Pastor, Marguerite Nyhan, Rebeca Moreno Jimenez, Daniel Macguire and Miguel Luengo Oroz

Targeted Outcomes

The aim of the Workshop is to disseminate the findings of the D4R Challenge to a wider public. 31 research groups will present their results in the Workshop. The group meetings will bring the Challenge participants together to initiate a recommendations document (to be completed after the Workshop). These recommendations will be compiled in a jointly-authored chapter in the forthcoming book:

Salah, A.A., A. Pentland, B. Lepri, E. Letouze, P. Vinck, Y.A. de Montjoye, X. Dong (eds.), Guide to Mobile Data Analytics in Refugee Scenarios, Springer International, forthcoming.

Furthermore, a white paper in Turkish will be edited from the Challenge outcomes to be shared with the authorities.


Scientific Committee
Albert Ali Salah, Boğaziçi University
Alex Pentland, MIT
Bruno Lepri, FBK
Emmanuel Letouze, Data-Pop Alliance
Patrick Vinck, Harvard University
Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye, Imperial College London
Xiaowen Dong, University of Oxford

Project Evaluation Committee
Senem Özyavuz, Turk Telekom
Iyad Rahwan, MIT
Anahi Ayala Iacucci, Internews
Bülent Sankur, Boğaziçi University
Yıldırım Bahadırlar, TUBITAK BILGEM
Alex Rutherford, MIT
Claire Melamed, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
Jean-Marie Garelli, UNHCR
Ahmad Garibeh, Istanbul & I
Geoffrey Charles Fox, Indiana University
Josephine Goube, Techfugees
Fırat Yaman Er, Turk Telekom
Phuong Pham, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
Mithat Büyükhan, TC Ministry of Education
Mazen AboulHosn, IOM
Ömer Hakan Şimşek, TC Ministry of Health
Nona Zicherman, UNICEF
Manuel Garcia-Herranz, UNICEF
Vedran Sekara, UNICEF


Albert Ali Salah, salah@boun.edu.tr

Attention Please

PROJECT GROUPS SUBMIT PROPOSALS has been extended until March 23, 2018.