All About Turkey

GAP Project

South Eastern Anatolian Region of TurkeyGAP (South Eastern Anatolian Project) is a multi-sectoral and integrated regional development project based on the concept of sustainable development. Its basic aim is to eliminate regional development disparities by raising people's income level and living standards; and to contribute to such national development targets as social stability and economic growth by enhancing the productive and employment generating capacity of the rural sector. The project area covers 9 provinces in the Euphrates - Tigris basins and Upper Mesopotamia plains (Adiyaman, Batman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Kilis, Mardin, Siirt, Sanliurfa and Sirnak).

The original initiative consisted of irrigation and hydroelectric energy production projects on the Euphrates (Firat) and the Tigris (Dicle) rivers. Along the 80s, the project was transformed into a multi-sectoral regional development program of a socio-economic character. This program covers such sectors as irrigation, hydraulic energy production, agriculture, urban and rural infrastructure, forestry, education and health. Its water resources program envisages the construction of 22 dams and 19 power plants and irrigation schemes on an area extending over 1.7 million hectares. The total cost of the project is 32 billion US$. The total installed capacity of its power plants is 7476 MW which means an annual production of 27 billion kWh.

The project is based upon the concept of sustainable development which aims at generating an environment in which future generations can fully develop themselves and reap the benefits of development. Equitable development, participation, protection of the environment, employment generation, spatial planning and infrastructure development are the basic strategies of GAP.

The center-piece of the Southeast Development Project (known in Turkish as GAP) is the 3,000-million-cubic-feet (84.4-million-cubic-meter) rock and earth-fill Ataturk Dam, the third largest of its type in the world. Twelve other dams are now in various stages of construction or planning in the southeast area. Such massive state investment will be followed by the private sector investments to tie this forgotten part of the country into the national economy at last. In 1997 irrigation of Harran fields started and farmers now are harvesting their crops nowadays, especially superb quality Turkish cotton, which is considered as the second best in the world (after the Egyptian cotton).

The basic development scenario envisaged in the GAP Master Plan is to transform the region into an "agriculture based export center". And it will for sure change the Flora in the region in a positive direction.

How will GAP change the socio-economic structure of the region

Structural change in economy according to the master plan

Taking 2005 as the target year, the Master Plan projected GRP with its components of Agriculture, Industry, Services and the change with respect to 1985 was envisaged as follows:
SECTORS  1985 (%)  2005 (%)
Agriculture 40 23
Industry 16 24
Services 44 53
Gross Regional Product (GRP) 100 100
GRP Index 100 445


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