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The Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) which is the biggest project of the republican era, is an ambitions project in terms of the geographical area it covers, its physical magnitudes and objectives when compared with the similar other projects throughout the world.

GAP is a multi-sectoral, integrated regional development project being carried out in 9 provinces (Adiyaman, Batman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Kilis, Mardin, Siirt, Sanliurfa, Sirnak) of the Southeastern Anatolia Region which is a relatively underdeveloped region in Turkey. As an integrated project, it is not limited with the dams, hydro electric power plants, irrigation systems only; but it contains industries and investments for the development of socio-economic sectors such as agricultural development, industry, urban and rural infrastructure, communication, education, health, culture, tourism and other social services in a coordinated way.

GAP set its own objectives within the framework of the government's overall policy aimed at the elimination of the interregional disparity which gain a gradual importance.

GAP coincides with the government policies to the effect that stirring the development potential in the underdeveloped regions will contribute to the national objectives such as the economic growth, social order and export encouragement. Actually, when GAP's development objectives are studied this trend can clearly be seen.

General Development Objectives

Agricultural Development Objectives

Industrial Development Objectives

GAP's Planning Approach

GAP Social Policy Objectives


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To raise the income level in the GAP Region by improving the economic structure in order to narrow the income disparity between the Region and other regions,

To increase the productivity and employment opportunities in rural areas,

To enhance the assimilative capacity of larger cities in the Region,

To contribute to the national objectives of sustained economic growth, export promotion and social stability by efficient utilization of the Region's resources.

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To raise the income level in rural areas by enhancing agricultural productivity and diversifying farming activities,

To provide sufficient inputs to agro-processing industries,

To increase employment opportunities to minimize the drift of people out of the rural areas,

To contribute to the production of exportable surpluses.

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To serve on one hand as a driving force for economic development of the GAP Region and on the other hand as a demand generator for education/training and technological development, in order to enhance the Region's image, social welfare and the people's motivation.

To contribute to the national objectives of export promotion and foreign exchange earnings/savings.

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As clearly defined in the GAP Master Plan, the ultimate target of GAP is to contribute to the economy of the country by raising the income level of the individuals through regional economic development.

One of the two inter-related features of GAP is an integrated approach which covers different sectors (agriculture, industry, education, social services) in a coordinated way and the other is a sustainable development. With these two characteristics, GAP not only aim at economic growth but also a social metamorphosis in the region.

The original goal of GAP development plan is to increase the efficiency of the investments made on irrigation and hydro-electric power, in coordination with other related projects and investments made in other sectors.

In concurrence with agricultural development, raise in the income level of the individuals, change in their consumption-production patterns which will be reflected in their life-styles and resulted in an overall social improvement, will be realized.

In this context, projects to be developed will contribute to filling the gaps in meeting the needs, identifying social tendencies and potentials for change, adjusting people to the new economic and social order.

The list of the conducted research projects in the Region to identify the needs and potential of the Region is given below:

The aim of the projects is to collect information on the social and cultural structures of the Region, the economic expectations of the people and the demographic trends in one hand and to encourage the communal participation and to integrate every group in the Region into the development process (women, nomads, urban destitute, people without land) in the other hand, by defining ways of reducing the socio-economic disparity between these groups, to develop concrete action plans under the light of these pieces of information and present them to the attention of the involved institutions and organizations.

"GAP Social Action Plan" was developed policy goals, strategies and programs. The plan includes seven headings as organization and participation, population movements and settlement, education, health, agricultural extension, employment, ownership and use of land.

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The basic principles of the "GAP Social Action Plan" which is prepared for the improvement of the situation in general, quicken the development are as follows:

The policy objectives envisaged in the GAP Social Action Plan in terms of the related sectors are as follows:

Goal 1: Social Structure

To increase the effectiveness of the contemporary organizations and establishments in order to accelerate dissolution of the traditional organizations which prevents development.

To create an infrastructure in order to increase the effectiveness of the cultural institutions through integrating sub-cultures in the Region into the national culture.

To support the family against some risks in the context of the changes in the development process and to strengthen democratic relations within the family.

Goal 2: Agricultural Sector

To share responsibility in the implementation of the extension services with farmers' organizations and NGO's in order to increase their effectiveness. To concentrate on supportive activities and quality control within the public sector and to put more emphasis on educational investments, agricultural investments, agricultural research, basic education and technical and professional education.

To take measures for improving the crop patterns, production relationship ownership patterns, employment opportunities in order to achieve a dynamic and efficient agricultural development.

To take measures to eliminate the contrary trends by defining optimum sizes of the agricultural management in the Region in order to make them more productive.

To take measures to protect the common properties such as pastures and meadows.

Goal 3: Employment

To decrease the number of registered unemployed persons in the Region which is above the national average.

To provide suitable conditions for attracting the skilled labor force and the people who will make investments in the Region, particularly those who immigrated from the Region.

To take measures to remove the obstacles preventing women from working and to encourage them to participate in the labor force.

To take economic and social measures for raising the total income and for the equal distribution of income.

To support such organizations which have potentials in creating job opportunities both in and outside the agricultural sector and industry.

To make use of natural and cultural resources for employment opportunities and for income generating activities.

To take into consideration the health and environmental dimensions in selecting technology besides productivity.

To take employment, health and environment aspects into account together with the productivity and efficiency in the technology selection.

Goal 4: Education

To take measures to increase the level of education particularly in favor of women and female children.

To expand the educational services to cover all population groups.

To increase the level of literacy and schooling up to national average.

To increase the efficiency of formal and adult education in the Region and to develop opportunities along these lines.

To give more emphasis on vocational and technical education for younger population which constitute the bulk of the population, in order to enable them to participate in the economic activities.

To give special attention to increase the health education level of women and to upgrade their social status.

Goal 5: Health

To take measures to pull down the rates of infant and child mortality rates and fertility rate at least to the level of national average.

To expand the public health services and to increase their accessibility.

To identify and to prevent certain health problems which might come out in the Region due to expansion of irrigation system.

Gaol 6: Population

To develop a population policy compatible with the principles of sustainable development.

To ensure a balance between the speed of population increase and the the speed of development process in order to achieve and effective regional development.

To take measures in stimulating migratory movements towards central villages and medium size cities.

Goal 7: Settlement

To provide settlements for the nomads and semi-nomads of whom the living spaces are narrowed as a result of the social and economic developments.

To observe the social, cultural and economic development principles in resettlement of the population affected from the dam construction.

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Social policy goals in the Region aim at achieving sustainable human development. the basic principles of these policy goals are (a) participation; (b) equality and justice; and (c) human resource development. The strategies of the activities within the framework of the Social Action Plan are based on these principles.

Policy goals in relation to public participation covers participation of the different population groups in the decision-making process. Participation and contribution of the local administration and NGO's will also stimulate the communities to be self sufficient and confident, in order to shoulder the responsibility for the development of their own communities, and to organize themselves as instrument to increase the effectiveness and the quality of services to enable the communities in meeting their real and felt need.

Equality and justice are ways of integrating the deprived and underserved population groups to the development process and to increase the accessibility of basic services such as education, health etc., and to create job opportunities which help the expansion of the coverage of social security system.

The basic goals of social policy are to improve the quality of life and the provision of at least a minimum contemporary living standard for all involved.

Improvement of the services and the living conditions, and provision of the minimum living standard equal for all involved are the basic functions of the social policy.

The social policy goals of GAP will be realized with the implementation of such projects integrating these basic dimensions in principle of a sustainable development process.

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