Stripping traditionally productive Calcisols for tandir oven manufacturing in Diyarbakır, a semi-arid region in SE Turkey

  • Yakup Kenan KocaEmail author


There is a close connection between human history and different purposes for which land is used, and various purposes can lead to the loss of productive agricultural lands. The increasing population in recent decades has particularly increased the pressure on agricultural lands. Despite the large number of land/soil misuse studies conducted during this period, land/soil loss is a continuing process. We thus seek to highlight the land/soil loss caused by the use of soil materials for the construction of tandır ovens in Diyarbakır region. The use of traditional tandır ovens is particularly widespread in eastern and northeastern rural Anatolia of Turkey, for baking bread. Because the soil material used in the production of this oven does not have any production standards, tandır oven producers extract their material from the nearest available lands that are mostly productive. Consequently, this study was conducted by collecting samples from soil materials used in the production of tandır ovens to determine their agricultural productivity. Satellite imagery from different dates was also used to detect the effects of inappropriate soil extraction. A number of interviews were conducted to obtain information on the type of soils extracted for production. Laboratory analyses of samples collected from the extracted areas revealed that soils’ utilized for oven production physical and chemical properties, as well as their land characteristics (flatness, depth, and stoniness), were appropriate for crop production. Consequently, these results point to accelerated future soil degradation which will threat regions food production.


Misuse of soil Soil losses Tandır oven Degradation Diyarbakır 



Most of the producers engaged in tandır oven are Kurdish women who do not speak Turkish; thus, in this respect, I would like to thank Deniz Azra Tamer, one of the students of the Faculty of Agriculture, Dicle University, for interpreting for the tandır oven producers.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Soil Science and Plant NutritionDicle UniversityDiyarbakırTurkey

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