The social structure in the GAP region and its evolution
International Journal of Water Resources Development
505 - 522
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GAP is an integrated multisectoral development project implemented in south-east Turkey, which makes up 9.7% of the country. With its technical, economic and social dimensions, it is considered in western circles as one of the three to nine wonders of the modern world. As distinct from earlier projects implemented in Turkey (e.g. the Çukurova Plain project) and elsewhere in the world, the main objective of GAP is to improve the living conditions of the people not merely by developing the material infrastructure but by taking the people as the core factor in every component of the project. The sustainability of such projects, it is well realized, depends on the human dimension, and not on success in the achievement of the material goals alone. Within this framework, several sociological research studies were conducted in the region to determine the appropriate approach in making the people a vital component of GAP and in bringing them to participate in the project voluntarily. This article first gives a historical account of nomadic, i.e., 'tribal' (or ashiret) aspects of Anatolian history, without which neither the past nor the present of Turkey can be adequately understood. 1 It then proceeds to summarize the findings, regarding the 'tribal' structure in the region, of the several research studies carried out in the region between 1992 and 1994.
KeywordsEconomic and social effects