Agriculture and rural life in Turkey

Murat Öztürk*, J.P. Jongerden, Andy Hilton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


At the beginning of the twentieth century, farming was Turkey’s largest source of family provisioning, the agricultural sector its largest employer and contributor to GDP, and the main constraints to Turkish agriculture were labour and capital. Agriculture in Turkey was largely led by state policies aiming to develop the home market in this sector, with a range of institutions and mechanisms developed to support and protect farmers while stimulating growth. Until the 1950s, rural life was the norm and the village remained a dominant feature in social culture. Then, agriculture and the rurality underwent a period of radical change. In recent times, particularly, the destructive effects of neoliberal politics on local agriculture weakened the sustainability of farming and rural life. Against this, however, there has been a range of creative responses. Farming families, communities, and related social developments are nowadays creating another reality. Analysis of this involves an overarching conception of rural-urban connectedness through a dual settlement or multi-place life in which people (including nuclear and extended families) as agents negotiate and integrate innumerable, dynamic residence/employment combinations. Farming as a constituent part of life in the rurality remains fundamental to the new, hybrid living forms, but agriculture is no longer the life-defining matrix of village life that it once was.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook on Contemporary Turkey
EditorsJoost Jongerden
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780429264030
ISBN (Print)9780367209025, 9781032023694
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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