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Home arrow Study sites arrow Eskisehir, Turkey
Eskisehir, Turkey PDF Print E-mail
Written by Erik van den Elsen   

Responsible IP partner: Eskişehir Osmangazi University (ESOGU)

1. General information
The Eskişehir region suffers from a variety of land degradation processes, among others erosion by water, erosion by wind, salinization and urbanization are the most pressing factors. Increasingly drier continental climate together with very weak natural plant cover accentuate the through-going degradation processes. The proposed hotspot area is influenced by Eskişehir settlement with important agricultural activity and many industrial complexes. In coming years, economic significance of the Eskişehir area will increase as the share of agriculture and industrial investments continue. The sensitivity to erosion of widespread agricultural areas and the expected strong draught as well as the dependence of agriculture to rapidly polluting surface and groundwater irrigation necessitate an integrated approach, that overlap the purpose of DESIRE initiative, in order to provide a sustainable development of the region.

 

Participating local partner institutions:

  • Eskişehir Osmangazi University: Faculties of Architecture-Engineering and Agriculture and department of biology involved in DESIRE with experts and laboratory facilities for various WBs.
  • Provencial Directorate of Agriculture: An institution aiming at the rising of agricultural productivity by providing education services to end-users as well as by research projects.
  • TEMA Eskişehir Branch: A branch of Turkish NGO for combating soil erosion, for restoration and protection of natural habitats.
  • Foundation For The Reinforcement of the General Directorate of National Parks and Game-Wild Life : A Turkish NGO focused on the protection of environment with its wild life.

 

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2. Geographical description

Image
Figure 1. Location of Eskişehir hotspot.

 

The Eskişehir region is situated in the western part of the central Anatolian Plateau. This plateau generally lies at 900-1000 m above sea-level and is dissected by some volcanic edifices, and depressions and uplifts of tectonic origin. The Eskişehir hotspot is located in the northern margin and partially at the floor of such a through-going depression, called the Eskişehir Basin (Figure 1). The Porsuk River and Sarısu Creek drain the basin floor as well as the surrounding plateaux to feed the larger Sakarya River in the east. A variety of rocks crop out in vicinity of the hotspot area. Metamorphic rocks with mappable ultramafic and carbonate subunits are found at high altitude and steep slopes. Consolidated ferruginous conglomerates and sandstones particularly are widespread in the basin margin. The younger loose fluvial terraces and Recent alluvial deposits mostly distributed over graben floor (Figure 2).

 

Image
Figure 2: Geological map of the Eskişehir area.

 

The hotspot area typically is characterized by a dry continental climate with an annual precipitation of 380 mm. Rainfall mostly occurs in spring as shower, while snow makes significant part (40%) of total precipitation (Figure 3). Winds dominantly move in east-west direction and may reach the tempest limits in 21 days a year. Air temperatures generally are below 0° during winter and may exceed 40° in summer days, causing a net difference of 12°-30°. Soil temperature temporally range between -0.8-25.5 0C 5-10 cm below the surface.

ImageImage
Figure 3. Erosion and debris flow after a heavy rain fall near vicinity of the study area.


From the viewpoint of land use, almost half of the Eskişehir region is suitable for agricultural activities while a forth is occupied by meadows and remaining by forests. In the hotspot area, the most common land use type is unirrigated cultivation (mostly cereals) followed by meadows, irrigated cultivation (sugar beet and sunflower) and fruit vegetation. A significant amount of fish production also is made from several dams in the region. According to national agriculture statistics, the Eskişehir area is the 4th among the national league with respect to agricultural production per person. The hotspot site is also under stress of urbanization related to Eskişehir city (population of 500.000) with many industrial complexes in the sectors of sugar, ceramics, cement, flavour production as well as plane motor and locomotive factories.  These agro-economic activities rise the area 14th most developed province (total 81) with respect to added value in manufacture sector.

A comprehensive land  degradation assessment has not been realized up to now in the Eskişehir area, though some studies have aimed for determination of water and wind erosion as well as for remediation of soil and the irrigation systems in the Eskişehir Plain.


 
3. Institutional and political setting
Management of the soil is achieved by a state organization (General Directorate of Rural Services) that recently officially bound to local governors. Within the boundary of the Eskişehir municipality, the ultimate land use decision-maker is the municipality board elected by the city people. Water management mostly is carried out by the local branch of the General Directorate of State Water Affairs and partly by two other state organisations, the General Directorate of Rural affairs and the Bank of Provinces.

There are previous regional to national land degradation and desertification projects achieved independently by the General Directorate of Rural Affairs, by Ministry of Environment and Forestry and by some NGOs, such as TEMA. Local studies of this type in the Eskişehir area were realized independently except one by the cooperation of the local division of General Directorate of Rural Affairs and some NGOs achieved at the village-scale. Several national scale mitigation efforts on land degradation and desertification also exist.

 

4. Relevant end-users / stakeholder groups

  • General Directorate of State Water Affairs, Eskişehir Branch: The local branch of the primary executive state agency for elimination of adverse effects of Turkey’s surface and groundwater and putting them in public utilization in various ways such as hydropower, irrigation, domestic and industrial use. This institution is passively involved in DESIRE since it previously constructed the Keskin Dam in the hotspot area.
  • Provincial Directorate for the Environment and Forestry: Local state branch responsible for reforestation and environmental rehabilitation and protection.
  • Soil and Water Research Institute, Eskişehir Branch: Branch of an organization (The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Service) aiming at the development, conservation or suitable exploitation of the soil and water resources in the Eskişehir region. This institute previously made some research projects in relation to various aspects of land degradation in Eskişehir regions.
  • Eskişehir Osmangazi University, Faculty of Agriculture: As a state university, this organization realises both education (undergraduate and MSc) and researches on productivity and land degradation issues.
  • TEMA Eskişehir Branch: A branch of Turkish NGO for combating soil erosion, for restoration and protection of natural habitats.
  • Foundation For The Reinforcement of the General Directorate of National Parks and Game-Wild Life : A Turkish NGO focused on the protection of environment with its wild life.
  • UNCCD National Focal point: The national connection point against desertification founded under the Research, planning and co-ordination board of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
  • Eskişehir Municipality: Decision-maker and execution authority within the municipality boundary with respect to land management and related issues.
  • Local Irrigation Unions: The union of villagers (end-users) for provision of surface and ground waters to their farms.
  • Local Farmer Unions: The union of villagers for increasing the productivity of soil and and crop quality.

 

5. Past and ongoing projects
There are few specialized project on the subject of land degradation and desertification in the Eskişehir area and most of them were realized either by ESOGU Faculty of Agriculture or by other local state organizations. They are thematic and rather local case studies. Among them effect of some agricultural applications on the soil erosion by water, inquiry on the wind erosion in the region and probable solutions and recurrence probability of the drought period in Eskişehir region can especially be cited. Another work undertaken by a local state institution and an NGO (TEMA Foundation) is named “Eskişehir Province Seyitgazi District Arslanbeyi Village Rural Development and Erosion Control Project”.

 

 

 
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