Socio-economic, cultural and demographic structures of Turkish forest villages and development approaches
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CitationTÜRKER, M.F., ÖZTÜRK, A., DURUSOY, İ., PAK, M., Socio-Economic, Cultural and Demographic Structures of Turkish Forest Villages and Development Approaches, XII World Forestry Congress, Congress Proceedings, A- Forests For People, Section A2a, Paper number 0412, September 21 to 28, 2003, Quebec City, Canada, 2003.
Today, there are about 19 020 forest villages and 7 145 000 villagers in Turkey. This is nearly half of total rural population. They get the smallest portion of national income, US$200 per capita per year. In addition, the rate of unemployment in the forest villages is about 60%, above the national average. Also, as the small forest villages are located in the mountainous areas, it is very difficult and expensive to provide public services and to invest in these areas. There are four approaches regarding the development of forest villages in the national and regional development plans and the current laws. The first one is to develop the forest villages in their own places, the second one is to transfer the forest villages where it is not possible to develop them in their own places, the third one is the central village approach and the last one is the village-city project. All these approaches are concerned with the improvement of the negative socio-economic conditions faced by forest villagers. In this paper, socio-economic, cultural and demographic characteristics of forest villagers that lead to the destruction of forest resources will be reviewed. Then, the four approaches to the development of Turkish forest villages will be examined with theory and application.