GAP: An Irrigation And Development Project In Turkey

Taraklı, Duran
The Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) in Turkey, which was initiated in 1976 with the Karakaya Dam consists of thirteen major projects. Twenty-two dams and seventeen hydroelectric power plants (HPP) with a total capacity of 7 561 MW will be constructed as part of it. GAP will provide irrigation for 1641282 hectares of land and will have an annual output of 25 003 GWh of power (1). Turkey has about 27.7 million hectares (ha) of land suitable for agriculture. Surveys show that it is economically feasible to irrigate 8.5 million ha of this land, but currently irrigation is limited to 3.3 million ha. After the completion of GAP, it will become economically feasible to irrigate an additional 19.3 percent of the irrigable land in Turkey. Thanks to the favorable climate, there will be a manyfold increase in productivity. Research shows that agricultural income may increase 17.5 fold in areas which will be irrigated after the completion of GAP (Tekinel, 1988,9). The present installed power capacity in Turkey is 10100 MW, consisting of 6 200 MW thermal and 3 900 M W hydro. The share of hydroelectric power was 38 percent in 1986. Economically viable hydropower potential is estimated at 32 700 MW and annual energy of 118 000 GWh is figured under average hydrological conditions. Only 12 percent of the total hydropower potential has been developed (2). In GAP, it is planned that at full development as mentioned above 25 003 MW of electric energy will be generated annually with the installed capacity of 7 561 MW. The total annual generation of electricity accounts for 21.2 percent of Turkey's economically viable hydropower potential (3). GAP is not only an agricultural development project. It is a comprehensive development project which has implications for the whole of Turkey. Naturally, the initial impetus will be felt in the agricultural sector. However, the development in the agricultural sector will have a positive effect on the industrial and service sectors in the region. Because as agricultural production rises in the region, food-grains, fibers, vegetable oils, timber, etc. will circulate in increasing quantities. In order to convert these into economically usable assets, adequate handling, storage and processing facilities on sound lines need to be established in the region. For increasing agricultural production, more material inputs such as fertilizers, agricultural equipment, improved seeds etc., will be used, most of which should be produced in the region. Beside these, increased agricultural production can be achieved through active and well-conceived agricultural research, extension, training and educational systems that must be organized locally. In this paper, GAP is discussed in three sections. The natural conditions, social structure, settlement, land tenure and the main features of GAP are explained in the first part. One of the small irrigation schemes, (The Devegecidi Irrigation Scheme) in GAP, established in 1972, was studied in 1982. The first goal of this study is to describe the farms within the scope of the Devegecidi Irrigation Scheme and the economic situation of the farm families benefiting from it. The second goal of the Devegecidi study is to draw conclusions which may be used in the planning of GAP. By using the results of the Devegecidi study, the scope and framework of the planning of GAP will be discussed. The results of the Devegecidi Irrigation Scheme and its plans are given in the second part. Conclusions are given in part three


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Citation Formats
D. Taraklı, “GAP: An Irrigation And Development Project In Turkey,” ODTÜ Mimarlık Fakültesi Dergisi, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 161–177, 1989, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: