Threats and Conservation of Landscapes in Turkey

  • Nizamettin KazancıEmail author
  • Catherine Kuzucuoğlu
Part of the World Geomorphological Landscapes book series (WGLC)


Turkey could be subject of a case study for the diversity of risks and threats on landscapes from soil erosion to desertification, from rapid transformation of the nature by waterworks to salinization and to decreasing level of groundwater. Deterioration of the landscapes, particularly of highlands by quarry and mining activities and road-cuts are almost usual results in the country, in spite of intensive conservation efforts of official bodies and volunteers. However, for a proper evaluation of the threats and nature conservation in Turkey, one needs to take into account its geographic position at 26°–45°E/36°–42°N, altitudes differences from sea level to more than 5000 m a.s.l., archaeological and historical past since Göbeklitepe (ca. 12 ka), and its considerable population up to 80 million people. These complex geographic and anthropogenic situations increase the threats on the landscapes. Presently, desertification is a very noticeable risk for Turkey. The significant threats for the nature started in the 1950s by industrialization and expansion of the agriculture. Hundreds of dams built for hydroelectricity and irrigation changed the local climatic conditions and increased land losses. Recently, migrations from rural areas to towns have created new and extra pressure on lands as farmlands are opening for settlements in spite of the presence of conservation rules. On the other hand, growing public awareness on nature conservation seems to be a big hope. Forests, national parks, historical and archaeological sites, biosphere reserves, natural monuments and conservation areas that cover around 27% of the country, is now registered for conservation purposes by different protection legislations, although the effectiveness of these conservation measures has yet to be proven.


Geoheritage Conservation Landscape degradation Turkey 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geological Engineering DepartmentAnkara UniversityGölbaşıTurkey
  2. 2.Laboratory of Physical Geography (LGP, UMR 8591)CNRS, Universities of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and Paris 12 U-PecMeudonFrance

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