Literature on Rural Settlement Geography in Turkey


Turkey is one of the richest countries in terms of the diversity of its rural settlements. Having served as a base for numeorus settlements throughout history, Anatolia has a historical legacy incomparable to any other part of the world. Apart from its historical past, the physical and human geography of Turkey shared a role in shaping this legacy. The physical geography refers to the distinctive features of Anatolia including its mathematical location, geographical and geomorphological structure, climate, hydrography, vegetation and soil. The human geography refers to the diversity of civilizations taking root on this land, their economic activities, social and cultural features, internal and external migration, demographic and administrative structure.

This study has classified the rural settlements in Turkey according to the following subheadings: as district, county and villages in terms of present administrative divisions; as kaza, nahiye, divan and karye in terms of old administrative divisions; as town, village and sub-village settlements in terms of population numbers; as prehistoric, historical and contemporary settlements in terms of historical process; as having a municipality or not in terms of local governance; as permanent and temporary settlements in terms of their continuity; as village and sub-village settlements in terms of villages; as quarter (mahalle), mezraa, yayla, ağıl, oba, etc. in terms of sub-village settlements; as agricultural, herder, miner, forestry, fisherman, touristic, etc. in terms of economic activities; as plain, ridge, valley, slope village etc. in terms of their setting; as mass settlement, sparse settlement and scattered settlement in terms of their configuration; as linear, circular and etc. in terms of their plans; as native and migrant villages in terms of their historical background; in terms of rural development efforts; in terms of their problems and in terms of their toponyms.

Undoubtedly, there are many more issues to be investigated regarding the rural settlements. First and foremost is the cultural structure and accumulation in the countryside. The rapid migration from rural to urban areas has irreversibly destructed the existing cultural structure. Another important research topic is the potential of rural settlements for development since their establishment. Until this potential is actualized, rural development will not be possible and lead to the draining of the countryside. This study focuses predominantly on the works of geographers in Turkey.

Keywords: Geography, Rural Settlements, Turkey.

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