Tuz Gölü, Turkey · Minamie's Photo [219]

Herr D.

Agriculture around Aksaray

Only 33% of Turkey’s land is used for agriculture. But thanks to its wide range of climate and landscape, the country enjoys an extensive diversity of agricultural products and has no need to import. Its most important exports are hazelnuts, olives, tabacco and cotton. Since the 1960’s, Turkey has undergone a dramatic agricultural industrialization process. This is particularly evident in the production of livestock, where the numbers of sheep and goats being kept has decreased 20 and 70 percent, respectively, but their output in meat and milk has dramatically increased. Central Anatolia is semiarid, with very hot summers and cold winters, and cultivation is largely made possible through irrigation. The treeless plateau by Konya is reknowned for its grain production, especially wheat. Following the nationwide trend, this production been increasingly market-oriented and mechanized. The only fruits grown here are those hardy enough to survive the cold winter: apples, peaches and grapes, for example. The keeping of livestock is rooted in the nomadic tradition of Turkey’s central plateau. Herds of goat, sheep and cattle are not an uncommon sight on the huge steppes of the region. As in the rest of Turkey, sheep and goat (especially angora) breeding has become highly industrialized. The Central Anatolian Plateau is also one of the world’s traditional producers of opium poppies. Today farmers send their poppy crops to state facilities for opium extraction. Turkey is one of the worldwide leaders in the production of medicinal opiates. As a matter of policy, the United States imports 80% of its raw narcotics from India and Turkey. Central Anatolia has naturally paid an environmental price for its relative high industrialization. But, due to the efforts of local activists, this has not gone unnoticed. In recent years, numerous experimental sustainable agriculture projects have been initiated. Vergleiche auch Video auf http://www.archive.org/details/upenn-f16-0331_1967_40_Turkey ab Minute 6:19