The Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey has historically been a plateau with low productivity. Although rich in water, land and human resources, the region has lagged behind the rest of the country in terms of development. The development potential of both the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers was recognised in the 1960s, and the idea of harnessing their waters for irrigation and hydropower generation emerged. Towards the end of the 1970s, the General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works 1 (DSI) planned the ‘Southeastern Anatolia Project’—a series of land and water resources development projects on the two rivers. Through a Master Plan in 1989, and a significant revision in 2002, the Southeastern Anatolia Project, or Güneydogu Anadolu Projesi (GAP), was transformed from a land and water resources development project into a large-scale, multi-sectoral regional development project to be implemented in nine of Turkey’s provinces that came to be known as the Southeastern Anatolia (GAP) Region.
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