Dr. Feriha Nazda Güngördü

Interview with

Current affiliation
  • Bahçeşehir University, Center of Migration and Urban Studies (BAUMUS)
Hosting institute
Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies
Key expertise

Profile according to FFVT taxonomy

Fields of research
Scientific topics

Academic education / CV

Ph.D. Urban Policy Planning and Local Governments (2021), Middle East Technical University (METU)

M.Sc. Regional Planning (2015), METU

B.Sc. City and Regional Planning (2012), METU

Relevant publications


Q1. Who are you?

I am Nazda, an urban planner, urban politics researcher and lecturer at Çankaya University, Turkey.  I am affiliated with Bahçeşehir University Centre of Migration and Urban Studies (BAUMUS) for my ongoing research on internal bordering in Turkey. I hold a Ph.D. in Urban Policy Planning and Local Governments from Middle East Technical University (METU). My primary research interests are the socio-spatial impacts of forced migration in urban areas, urban informalities, place-making, housing and emplacement strategies of refugees and migrants.

Q2. What was your motivation to apply for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?

I was thrilled to collaborate with leading researchers in the field of forced migration from different academic backgrounds who also have extensive knowledge of the Turkish context, enabling me to strengthen my research from different directions. As an urban planner, it was crucial for me to be in dialogue with sociologists, geographers, and political scientists to improve my current research. IMIS was one of the best institutes in Europe in this regard. I was also impressed by the FFVT fellowship's goals that notably prioritize networking and knowledge-sharing activities in a hospitable and independent research environment. Germany, as a country with long migration history, offers a lot to explore on how the dynamics and consequences of migration can be governed. Therefore, knowing the German context on forced migration, asylum, and migration, in general, would broaden my vision and knowledge.

Q3. What do you expect from the fellowship?

My main expectations are to develop my current research through brainstorming and extensive sharing of ideas and knowledge with other fellows in IMIS, to learn new methods of inquiry, to search ways for long-term collaborations, joint publications, and project proposals, and to engage in networking activities to reach out researchers and other potential stakeholders in Germany and Turkey and in other countries.

Q4. What is the focus of your work, and what is innovative about it? / What are your planned outcomes and activities for the fellowship period? And how do they relate to your FFVT hosting institution/ the FFVT cooperation project?

My current work focuses on the housing strategies of Syrian refugees under precarious conditions and legal/political ambiguities at the national/urban level concerning their settlement and integration in Turkey. I have already conducted rigorous fieldwork in Izmir, Turkey, and during the fellowship, I aim to prepare the data for in-depth analysis, conceptualize the findings with my mentors at IMIS and further develop the content and methodology of the research, and to engage in dissemination activities so that it may reach out to the broader audience and trigger further research on similar topics. The research is innovative in many ways. Most importantly, it prioritizes the experiences of Syrian refugees in the search for proper housing and focuses on their negotiations with several non-state actors who step in to fill/respond to the policy gaps in refugees‘ accommodation in Turkey. With its interdisciplinary setting, theoretical focus, potential for knowledge transfer, and comparative studies, the research fits the goals of the FFVT fellowship and the research focus of IMIS.