Keywords: Turkish agriculture, rural transformation, agricultural development, small farms, rural non-farm activities, cotton production, land reform, Turkey, labour demand, labour supply, underemployment, rural development policy
Rural transformation in Turkey 19802004: case studies from three regions
This paper focuses on the economic dimension of rural transformation (or structural transformation) in Turkey. It investigates the development of labour demand and supply in rural areas over the past two decades. For that purpose, three longitudinal case studies were conducted in three different regions of Turkey. This paper concludes that the lack of substantial labour transfer from agricultural to non-agricultural activities has created a labour surplus that increasingly results in widespread underemployment in rural areas. The increasing income and employment gap between rural and urban areas must be addressed by a new kind of rural development policy that is primarily focused on generating human capital and new business opportunities rather than preserving the unsustainable existing structures in rural Turkey.