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Sound and independent information
on the environment

Turkey

Land use (Turkey)

Why should we care about this issue

Topic
Land Land
Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 23 Nov 2010

One of the policies that must be developed for the environment is creating land use plans. The sustainability of natural resources such as soil and water depends on the proper use of land according to its capacity. Determining changes in land cover/land use at specific intervals accelerates decision-making processes and helps in taking environmentally sensitive decisions quickly.

The 2006 Corine land cover data show that land in Turkey consists of 42.35 % agricultural areas and 54.04 % forestry and semi-natural vegetation where almost 96 % of the country's land can be defined as natural environment. The increases in population, urbanisation and industrialisation have raised the use of non-intentional agricultural fields.

 

The state and impacts

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 08 Apr 2011

Land use causes previously unobserved changes in the appearance of the land, the ecosystems and the environment. Lack of land use plans leads to the use of agricultural fields in unintended ways, for example destruction of forest and wetland and of coastal areas with a natural character. In relation to this, the establishment of residential areas and industrial areas on productive agricultural fields can have outcomes such as destruction of ecological balance, climate change, decrease in biological diversity, and land and air pollution. 

Comprehensive land use plans will also provide solutions for strategic issues, such as food supply through sustainable agricultural management. Hence, types of land use will then be planned at the most ecologically suitable locations, thus increasing productivity and preventing a negative effect on agricultural potential by other kinds of usage (agricultural industry, industrial areas, settlements, etc.).

 

Table 1: Land Cover Classes

 

LAND SIZE (%)

INCREASE (+ )/ DECREASE (-) IN SIZE

Land Class

2000

2006

(m2)

1.    Artificial Areas

1.5646

1.61

+377 290 004.06

2.    Agricultural Areas

42.3589

42.35

-134 513 788.38

3.    Forests and Semi-Natural Areas

54.0739

54.04

-259 525 930.4

4.    Wetlands

0.3634

0.36

-15 159 025.99

5.    Water bodies

1.6392

1.64

+41 415 305.55

TOTAL

100

100

 

Graph 1: Year 2000 Land Cover Distribution Percentage (%)


Grafik 1: 2000 Yılı Arazi Örtüsü Dağılım Yüzdesi (%)

Graph 1: Year 2000 Land Cover Distribution Percentage (%)

Yapay Bölgeler

Artificial Areas

Tarımsal Alanlar

Agricultural Areas

Orman ve Yarı Doğal Alanlar

Forests and Semi-Natural Areas

Sulak Alanlar

Wetlands

Su Yapıları

Water bodies

 

Graph 2: Year 2006 Land Cover Distribution Percentage (%)


Grafik 2: 2006 Yılı Arazi Örtüsü Dağılım Yüzdesi (%)

Graph 2: Year 2006 Land Cover Distribution Percentage (%)

Yapay Bölgeler

Artificial Areas

Tarımsal Alanlar

Agricultural Areas

Orman ve Yarı Doğal Alanlar

Forests and Semi-Natural Areas

Sulak Alanlar

Wetlands

Su Yapıları

Water bodies

 

The key drivers and pressures

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 08 Apr 2011

Structural pressures exist regarding land use in Turkey. The various kinds of land, and especially arable land, can have problems of varying types and dimensions resulting from the different sorts of soil. 14.2 % of Turkey’s soil is deeper than 90 cm while the remaining 85.8 % is divided into 11.9 % moderately deep (50‑90 cm), 30.5 % shallow (20 50 cm) and 37.2 % very shallow (<20 cm) land. It is indeed a disadvantage for Turkey’s agriculture that shallow soil constitutes a large share that constrains the type and amount of production. .

Turkey is one of the countries subject to a high degree of erosion due to its topographical structure, climate, the incorrect agricultural methods used, the excess pasture and forest destruction and the fact that most land is prone to erosion. In addition, the slope conditions make agricultural processes difficult and facilitate erosion which also pose a significant land problem in Turkey.

The rapid population increase and industrialisation has increased rural to urban migration and led to the establishment of settlement areas replacing productive agricultural land in certain regions. The small areas of land in agricultural enterprises cause the producers to use non-productive fields (grassland-pasture, forest) for agricultural production. Tourism investments that are not sensitive to the environment may cause irreversible damage in coastal and forest areas. Human activity that has negative impacts on wetlands causes the degradation of ecosystems.

The maps that show Corine Land Cover (CLC) 2000, 2006 and the change between 2000 and 2006 can be found below.

 TURKEY CORINE 2000 MAP

Map 1: MAP OF LAND USE IN TURKEY IN 2000


 

TÜRKİYE CORINE 2000 HARİTASI

TURKEY CORINE 2000 MAP

Lejant

Legend

Yapay Bölgeler

Artificial areas

Tarımsal Alanlar

Agricultural areas

Ormanlar

Forests

Çayır, Maki ve Ağaçlandırma Alanları

Grassland, scrub and forestation areas

Bitki Örtüsü Az ya da Olmayan Alanlar

Areas with no or little vegetation

Sulak Alanlar

Wetlands

Su Yapıları

Water bodies


TURKEY CORINE 2006 MAP

Map 2: MAP OF LAND USE IN TURKEY FOR 2006


TÜRKİYE CORINE 2006 HARİTASI

TURKEY CORINE 2006 MAP

Lejant

Legend

Yapay Bölgeler

Artificial areas

Tarımsal Alanlar

Agricultural areas

Ormanlar

Forests

Çayır, Maki ve Ağaçlandırma Alanları

Grassland, scrub and forestation areas

Bitki Örtüsü Az ya da Olmayan Alanlar

Areas with no or little vegetation

Sulak Alanlar

Wetlands

Su Yapıları

Water bodies

MAP OF LAND USE CHANGE IN TURKEY BETWEEN 2000 AND 2006

                Map 3: MAP OF LAND USE CHANGE IN TURKEY BETWEEN 2000 AND 2006


 

The change in land cover between 2000 and 2006 shows an increase in settlement areas and water bodies, and a decrease in agricultural use, forests and semi-natural vegetation and wetland. When we evaluate the direction of change, approximately 25 952 ha forest areas, 13 451 ha agricultural land, and 1 515 ha wetland within the country's surface area have changed to classification types other than their sub‑use classifications and are now being used in ways other than intended. According to the settlement indicators, the highest overall change in the county is the increase in artificial areas with a size of 37 729 ha. The five provinces with the largest increase are presented in Graph 3.

GRAPH 3: GRAPH OF INCREASE IN ARTIFICIAL AREAS


GRAFİK 3: YAPAY BÖLGELERİN ARTIŞ GRAFİĞİ

GRAPH 3: GRAPH OF INCREASE IN ARTIFICIAL AREAS

Artış Miktarı (ha)

Amount of increase (ha)

Yapay Bölgeler

Artificial areas

Ankara

Ankara

İstanbul

İstanbul

İzmir

İzmir

Bursa

Bursa

Kayseri

Kayseri

İl Adı

Province name

 

The water bodies that were observed to increase by approximately 4 141 ha in size include dams and small lakes. A large part of this increase consists of recently constructed dams.

When the overall use of ecologically important wet areas is evaluated, an average of 1 500 ha has been opened to use in non-intentional ways. Seasonal changes were not taken into account in these areas where the six years of change was determined.

The study has also detected changes that might destroy the forest ecosystem although the main source of the observed changes in forest areas, national treasures and natural assets, can be interpreted as dynamism of the country's forests in general.

 

The 2020 outlook

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 23 Nov 2010

 

            Land use plays an important role both in food safety and in carbon sequestration. Regional and national land use plans need to be conducted taking environmental factors into account, and land use changes and requests should be carefully scrutinised. Financial and ecological decisions should be mutually evaluated within the framework of sustainable development. Consequently, the functionality and enforcement of the Land Protection and Area Use Laws should be increased and made enforceable.

The Corine land cover project will determine land use and its changes at specific intervals. These and other data will be used to create stable and integrated data systems regarding the environment and its monitoring, inspection and reporting structure. These data and systems will enable accurate and quick decisions so that rapid intervention will become possible ensuring a healthier environment.

            The continuity of the Corine land cover project will be ensured. Satellite images from 1990 and 2010 will be used retrospectively so that the changes in land use can be demonstrated in more detail.

Existing and planned responses

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 23 Nov 2010

Although there are scientific principles to determine how land classified according to land capacity class will be used, the climate, microclimate and socioeconomic structure of the region and the country are generally factors that should not be disregarded. Today, with the rapid change in land use, the simultaneous consideration of economic and ecological factors in development and rational resource use have made it necessary to take environmentally sensitive land use decisions and to determine these changes even more rapidly. Hence, the CORINE (Coordination of Information on the Environment) land cover programme, one of the most important land management programmes within the context of the EU GMES (Global Monitoring for the Environment and Security), has therefore been initiated by the European Commission. The Corine land cover 2000 project in Turkey started in 2005 using satellite images from 2000 and was completed in mid 2008. The CLC 2006 project started in January 2009 and was completed in December 2009. The main aim of CLC 2006 is to use satellite images from the years 2000 and 2006 according to European Environment Agency criteria and to detect the changes in landscape/land use with the help of remote detection and geographic information systems to monitor the environment and create land use maps for the year 2006. The changes in the last six years have been determined using satellite images from 2000 and 2006 during the project and the most current landscape maps for all of Turkey have been created according to European Environment Agency criteria.

Preparations have also started in Turkey for land use and spatial data information production within the context of the EU Inspire Directive.

 

References:

 

-          The Ministry of the Environment and Forestry, http://www.cevreorman.gov.tr , http://corine.cevreorman.gov.tr/

-          The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, http://www.tarim.gov.tr

 

 

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The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.

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