The University of Arizona

The History and Current Direction of Rangeland Management in Turkey

Ali Koc, Walter H. Schacht, H. Ibrahim Erkovan


On the Ground
• Turkey is a country with many urban centers (Istanbul
has 15 million people) and with a high gross national
product (16th in the world). More than one-third of
the country is rangeland and livestock production
accounts for at least 30% of agricultural income.
• Rangelands and livestock production on rangelands
historically have been at the center of Turkish society,
economy, and culture. Roots of many Turkish range
management practices can be traced back to the
steppes culture of central Asia in 2500 BC.
• The government established strict policies and
regulations on the communal rangelands allocated
to each community by the central government. The
grazing management regulations were based on
strategies to ensure that 1) stocking rates did not
exceed carrying capacity, 2) timing of grazing was in
balance with seasonal conditions, and 3) grazing
units were periodically deferred.
• The composition and productivity of Turkeys rangelands
have degraded considerably since the early
1900s with an increasing density of humans and
their livestock on grazing lands and an abandonment
of the traditional policies and structure regulating
grazing of rangelands.
• The Rangeland Act of 1998 gave the Turkish
government authority to regulate the grazing season,
carrying capacity, and rangeland development and
use. Consideration of agrarian reform measures is at
the center of revitalizing the publicly owned rangelands
in Turkey.

Keywords: Turkey, Anatolia, Thrace, traditional
knowledge, tore, communal rangeland, rangeland

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