Law Library Stacks

Back to Legislation on Use of Water in Agriculture

I. Background 

Turkey, located in a semi-arid part of the world, is not rich in freshwater resources, nor does it have the greatest wealth of water resources in the region; compared to water-rich areas (i.e., those with 10,000 cubic meters of water per capita annually) such as North America and Western Europe, it has only about one fifth (1,500 cubic meters) of the water available per capita.[1]  Moreover, the water is not necessarily available in the places most suited to meeting Turkey’s present and future needs, because some regions, like the Black Sea area, “have ample but unusable freshwater, while some of the more heavily populated and industrialized regions such as the Marmara and the Aegean regions lack sufficient fresh water.”[2] 

The irrigated land in Turkey is 5.29 million hectares, or 13% of the country’s agricultural area, with the majority of larger irrigation projects concentrated in the coastal regions of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.[3]  According to a 2010 study, 75% of utilizable water was allocated to irrigation, with the irrigated area having “already reached 60 percent of the total ‘economically irrigable’ area of 8.5 million hectares” and water consumption per hectare constituting over 7,000 cubic meters.[4]  Through a participatory irrigation management program instituted in Turkey from 1994 onwards, the transfer of about 95% of the state-managed irrigation infrastructure to water user organizations, i.e., management by local stakeholders, was achieved by 2005.[5] 

European Union membership has served as an impetus for reforming Turkey’s environmental policy, including water policy, gaining ground after Turkey’s official recognition as a candidate for full EU membership in December 1999 and intensifying ever since official accession negotiations began in October 2005.[6]  A key document in connection with water management in the EU is the Water Framework Directive.[7]  It sets forth detailed requirements for domestic water management and also obliges member states to internationally coordinate their actions along river basins.[8]  Two other related Directives include the Directive on Environmental Quality Standards[9] and the Nitrates Directive.[10] 

Back to Top

II.  Policies

In the view of some scholars, excessive water consumption is a major problem in Turkey, and new, successful water management policies are needed to meet the country’s increasing population, in addition to initiatives to heighten public awareness and knowledge of efficient water use. [11]  Former Turkish Foreign Minister Yaşar Yakış commented in March 2013 that while Turkey has recently attached greater importance to water issues, effective water management policies are not in place in Turkey, nor does it have many qualified experts on water, unlike other countries in the Middle East.  “Therefore,” in his view, “Turkey needs to establish departments on water issues at Turkish universities to train domestic water experts as soon as possible.”[12] 

The government’s Ninth Development Plan 2007–2013[13] recognized “the significant role of irrigation for improving the performance of the agricultural sector,” but at the same time established as a priority the more efficient use of water resources in agriculture and the completion of irrigation projects already underway.[14]  While agriculture has been decreasing in importance in Turkey compared to the industrial and service sectors of the economy, it nevertheless still plays a fundamental role, employing about a quarter of the workforce and generating most of the income and employment in rural areas.[15]  From 1980 to 2009, the contribution of agriculture to GDP decreased from 23% to 8.3%, although its share of total exports, according to a 2011 study, remained stable at about 11% of total exports.[16]  About 55% of the land suitable for agriculture is used for arable crops (with about 24% of the land irrigated and 11% left fallow), 8% for permanent crops, and 38% for permanent meadows and pastures.[17] The majority of farming enterprises are still small holdings or family farms, with almost two-thirds smaller than five hectares and “with a high degree of fragmentation,” even though more commercialized farming has emerged in recent years.[18]  Relatively more of the larger and more specialized types of farms are found in Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean regions. [19]

Back to Top

III.  Legal Framework

A.  Constitution and Civil Code

The Constitution of the Republic of Turkey of 1982 sets forth as a basic principle that water is a public good under the trusteeship of the State.[20]  According to article 168, “natural wealth and resources shall be under the authority and at the disposal of the State.  The right to explore and exploit these belongs to the State.”[21]  Article 43, paragraph (2) states, moreover, “in the utilization of sea coasts, lake shores or river banks, and of the coastal strip along the sea and lakes, public interest shall be taken into consideration with priority.”[22]

Water is divided into two categories for purposes of law, namely, “waters taken directly as a substance” and waters that exist “in a natural form and appearance (rivers, underground waters, springs, lakes, etc.).”[23]  Based on the Turkish Civil Code, waters may be classified as either public waters, available for public service and utilization under the government’s direction and possession, or private waters, available for personal ownership as private property.[24]  This distinction is derived from article 715, which provides that assets not in anyone’s possession and commodities at the service of the public will be under the command and possession of the government.  The article further provides that unless prescribed otherwise, waters at the service of the public and places unsuited for agriculture, such as rocks, hills, and mountains, and the resources therefrom, are not owned by anyone in any way and cannot be subject to private ownership.[25]

B.  Water Law

According to the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, the current Law Concerning Water (Sular Hakkinda Kanun), No. 831, which entered into force on May 10, 1926, does not sufficiently address a number of subjects, such as water-related construction (e.g., dams), industrial water needs, groundwater usage, irrigation, and pollution of the receiving environment.[26]  There are also gaps in the existing water legislation as a whole, and current laws do not clearly assign authority and responsibility for water-related matters.  In addition, according to the Ministry, Turkey’s laws need to accord with the EU Framework Directive on Water, and greater consideration needs to be given not just to assuring the quantity of water but also its quality.[27]

A new Water Law, drafted after a review of the laws of ten countries and consultations with foreign experts, was presented for evaluation by Turkish agencies and institutions, universities, and NGOs and municipalities; as of February 2013, the comments received were being evaluated.[28]  Some features of the draft law are that it provides for basin-based water management and allocation, treatment of water as property to be disposed by the state, the full cost principle (user/polluter pays), coordination of water management, preparation of a National Water Plan and of flood management plans, establishment of a supreme council for water management, and inclusion of sparkling mineral water in the Water Law.[29] 

C.  Groundwater Law

The government is responsible for development of water resources, with the exception of privately owned springs and waters.  The Groundwater Law, No. 167 of 1960, covers the use of underground water resources (more than ten meters below the ground surface).[30]  Bylaw No. 1465 on Groundwaters sets priorities for the use of underground water, i.e., for drinking, cleaning, in connection with animals, and for agricultural irrigation.[31]  According to article 756 of the Civil Code, “underground waters are generally beneficial to the public, and therefore, ownership of any land shall not cover the water under that land,” and, “pursuant to the Constitution, underground waters and mineral waters are under the command and possession of State.”[32]  Springs are not defined in the Civil Code, but article 756 and subsequent articles provide that springs are subject to private ownership.[33] 

D.  Laws on Irrigation Users

From 1993 onwards, most water user organizations (or irrigation associations, IAs), were formed under the Municipal Act, Law No. 1580, implying control by the Ministry of the Interior.  In 2005, with the enactment of the Local Administration Act, Law No. 5355, specific reference was made to IAs in a statute for the first time, under article 19.[34]  In March 2011, the supervisory role of the General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (Devlet Su İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü or DSI) over IAs was strengthened by the enactment of a new Irrigation Associations Law, Law No. 6172, which authorized the DSI “as the dominant public water authority that acts as an ‘advisory and controlling institution’ to IAs.”[35]  The new law redefined the status of IAs from ‘local administration associations’ to ‘public legal entities,’ subjecting them to an administrative and technical audit and opening the possibility of DSI’s taking back the management of IAs and either exercising management itself or outsourcing it to the private sector by selling irrigation canals to private enterprises.[36]  As of 2012, IAs managed 90% of the total areas transferred from centralized to local farmers’ control, some 3.21 million hectares.[37]

However, IAs were not the only possible form of user organization, because also cooperatives (5%; Cooperative Law), municipalities (3%) and village legal entities (2%; Village Law) were made responsible for managing local irrigation systems.  Local leaders such as village headmen (muhtars) or mayors of municipalities often became the heads of these user organizations . . . [38]

Several different laws regulate irrigation areas in addition to Law No. 6172 and Law No. 5355. These include Law No. 442 on village authorities and Law No. 1163 regulating irrigation cooperatives.[39]

E.  Agricultural Land

Turkey has had a large number of multiparcel agricultural land holdings, which may for the most part be attributed to the 1926 Civil Code, “which specifies that, upon death of a landowner, 25% of the land should pass to the owner’s spouse, with the rest being equally distributed among any surviving children.”[40]  The Law on Soil Conservation and Land Use (Toprak Koruma ve Arazi Kullanımı Kanunu), Law No. 5403 of July 3, 2005 (in force on July 19, 2005), was amended in 2007 to prevent continued fragmentation in that manner, establishing the minimum permissible size of a land parcel to be twenty hectares.[41]  The Law was further amended in 2008 by the Law Amending the Law on Soil Preservation and Land Utilization and the Law on Pastures (Toprak Koruma ve Arazi Kullanımı Kanunu ile Mera Kanununda değişiklik yapılması hakkında Kanun).[42]  The Bylaw on the Conservation and Consolidation of Agricultural Lands, adopted in July 2009, sets forth the principles of implementation of the Law, and subsequently there has been “noticeable acceleration in the progress of land consolidation.”[43] 

F.  Water Resource Management

The Law on the Establishment of the General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (Devlet Su İşleri (DSİ) Genel Müdürlüğü), No. 6200 (Dec. 18, 1953; published Dec. 25, 1953) defines the duties and powers of the DSI and the organizations under it.[44] 

On July 4, 2011, a new law was promulgated to establish a General Directorate of Water Management.[45]  The Directorate was established under the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs.[46] 

G.  Financing

The Provincial Bank Corporation Law[47] appears to continue to assume the responsibility of the former Bank of the Provinces Law “to assist all municipalities, irrespective of size, in the financing and construction of their infrastructure works including water supply (drinking water) and sewerage, under the Ministry of Public Works and Settlement” (Bayindirlik ve Iskan Bakanligi).[48]

H.  Prospective Laws

In addition to the proposed Water Law, some other water-related laws that were ready to be approved or for which drafting was underway in February of this year include the Draft By-Law on Reuse of Treated Waste Water, Draft By-Law for Water Loss and Leakage, the Draft By-Law on ‘Monitoring Surface and Ground Water,’ and the Draft By-Law of Water Protection Against Nitrates Pollution from Agriculture.[49]

Back to Top

IV.  Rights of Riparian Owners

Among other criticisms of Turkey’s water resources management framework is that current laws and regulations “do not provide a proper definition of water rights.”[50] 

In regard to water pricing, “the dominant pricing practice is per hectare charge differentiated according to the crop.”[51]  There is no difference in policy based on the sources of irrigation water; “the price (fee) for the irrigation water is still based on operation and maintenance costs in all irrigation schemes and it is charged on per hectare basis.”[52]

Water fee pricing is based on lists of water prepared by IA technical personnel “and approved by Association Council and collected as whole in advance, or in installments.  The collected money is used for operational costs of the association and for repair and maintenance”; for costly repair and maintenance, assistance is requested from DSI.”[53] DSI allows the water users groups “to collect an amount between 20 and 40% of the annual water charge.”[54]

Back to Top

V.  Powers of Government Authorities in Charge of Administration of Water in Agriculture

A.  Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs: DSI

After World War II, a centralized water bureaucracy, the DSI, mentioned above,[55] was established to enhance development of water resources.  In the 1960s, under the direction of the State Planning Organisation (SPO), public investments in the water sector were based on national five-year development plans, and “major water infrastructure such as irrigation systems, storage facilities and multi- and single-purpose dams (for e.g., hydroelectricity generation) was state-financed and state managed.”[56]  The mandate to foster the development of water and land resources was given to DSI and to the General Directorate of Rural Services (TOPRAKSU),[57] established in 1985[58] but dismantled in 2005.[59]  However, the TOPRAKSU staff “was not transferred to DSI, but to the 81 provincial governments in which the field staff were based.”[60] 

The DSI, which is under the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, is responsible for centralized management of water resources and for water sector planning nationwide.[61]  More specifically, the DSI is responsible for planning, constructing, and financing water and wastewater treatment plants; constructing dams and hydroelectric power plants; building irrigation and drainage systems; carrying out studies for surveys, investigation, conservation, and utilization of ground water; allocating and registering ground water; and flood control.[62]  “DSI provides drinking water and water for irrigation and works in cooperation with the General Directorate of the Bank of Provinces (Iller Bank), municipalities (at the local level), and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA).”[63] 

On July 4, 2011, a new law was promulgated to establish a General Directorate of Water Management under the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs.[64]  Among other tasks, it is to do planning and coordination of water management on a national and international basis, set water policy, deal with transboundary waters, handle water legislation, develop water discharge standards and criteria, set water quality standards for the receiving environment, plan flood and drought management, address climate change and water resources issues, assess efficiency of water use, and handle international relations regarding water.[65]  One aspect of efficient water use that the new agency will monitor is the use of treated domestic wastewater in irrigation.[66] 

B.  Other Concerned Ministries

Other major central government agencies involved in overseeing water resources and irrigation are the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, responsible for the control and inspection of and sanctions against unlawful discharges and the preparation of environmental impact assessment and environment plans; the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA), responsible for the bylaw on nitrates; and the Ministry of Health, responsible for water to be used for human consumption.[67] 

C.  Water Management Coordination Committee

By Prime Ministry Notice No. 2012/7, a new Water Management Coordination Committee (WMCC) was established,[68] and since 2011 there has been a General Directorate of Agrarian Reform under MARA.[69] 

The WMCC is responsible for determining measures to protect water resources “in a holistic way,” attaining coordination and cooperation of different sectors, enhancing water-related investments, achieving goals stated in national and international documents, and implementing institutional responsibilities stated in river basin management plans.[70]  The Committee’s members are from the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Ministry of Development, the Ministry of the European Union, and the Turkish Water Institute.[71]

Back to Top

VI.  Requirements for Licenses to Use Water for Irrigation

For each reservoir in Turkey, the DSI issues licenses at the request of prospective users to use the groundwater.  The licenses cover only the right to use and cannot be transferred or sold.[72] 

Back to Top

VII.  Water Quality and Water Conservation Requirements

The Law on the Environment, No. 2873, provides that the Ministry of Environment is responsible for the utilization and protection of natural resources and for the prevention of water, soil, and air contamination.[73]  One objective of the Bylaw on Water Contamination (also called the Bylaw for Water Pollution Control) of 1988, No. 19919, which was adopted on the basis of Law No. 2873, “is to maintain the potential of the country’s underground and surface springs and to utilize them in the most appropriate manner with the prevention of the contamination.”[74] 

Bylaw 19919, as amended in 2004 and 2008, further “aims at both conserving the quality of water resources and water-dependent ecosystems, and protecting and improving water quality to meet human demands.”  The Bylaw establishes emission discharge standards or limits that define the maximum allowable amounts of pollutant discharge (including priority substances as defined in the EU Dangerous Substances and Nitrate Directives) that may be received in natural and artificial water bodies.  It defines the water quality standards for receiving bodies of water by classifying inland surface waters into four classes: high-quality waters, waters with minimal pollution, polluted water, and highly polluted water.  The Bylaw also “regulates the permit system for direct (into receiving natural water) and indirect dischargers (into municipal sewage systems) and authorizes the Provincial Environment and Forestry Directorate to issue the permits (the Local Environment Commissions act as their advisors).”[75]

The Bylaw on Surface Water Quality Management entered into force on November 30, 2012.  It was adopted to conform to the EU Water Framework Directive and the Directive on Environmental Quality Standards.[76]  The Bylaw on the Protection of Groundwater Against Pollution and Deterioration entered into force on April 7, 2012, in conformity with the EU Groundwater Directive.[77]

The Bylaw on the Protection of Waters from Agricultural Nitrate Pollution of 2004 (No. 25377) governs nitrate and nitrate-based components originating from agricultural practices (i.e., from the application of fertilizer and from animal waste) that pollute groundwater, surface water, and soil.[78]  The Bylaw also defines drinking water standards and criteria for determining regions at risk.  MARA is given the responsibility of promoting good agricultural practices, e.g., for fertilizer use in agriculture, and for developing programs towards that end.[79]

The Bylaw on Controlling Contamination and Environmental Pollution Stemming from Dangerous Substances of 2005 (No. 26040) sets forth technical and administrative standards for identifying dangerous substances that pollute surface water, estuaries, and regional waters.[80]  It also provides standards for preparing pollution reduction programs, for monitoring and preventing pollution, and for conducting inventories of dangerous substances discharged into water resources.[81]  It also covers determination of wastewater discharge standards and water quality standards related to fourteen dangerous substances in receiving environments, among other standards.[82] 

The General Directorate of Water Management has examined preparation of a draft Bylaw on Protection of Basins and Preparation of Management Plans.  The aim of the draft Bylaw is “to set procedures and principles of planning for and protection of the quantity and quality of groundwater and surface water on the basis of a holistic approach”; the draft Bylaw also includes principles on the preparation of river basin management plans.[83]

Back to Top

VIII.  Intercountry Disputes Concerning the Use of Water

According to a 2011 study, “the somewhat alarming description of Turkish transboundary water disputes as having potential for serious water conflicts appears exaggerated and does not realistically mirror the current situation, even in the most marked water quantity disputes over the Euphrates-Tigris rivers system.”[84]  In addition to the Euphrates-Tigris rivers system shared by the riparian states Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, other transboundary rivers shared by Turkey include the Meric River, with the riparian states Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey; the Kura-Aras river basin, with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Turkey; the Coruh River, with Georgia and Turkey; and the Orontes River with Turkey and Syria.[85]

In 2009, Turkey, Syria, and Iraq “agreed to establish joint stations to measure water volume, monitor and exchange information about climate and drought, and create joint water education programs” in connection with the Tigris and Euphrates.  The agreement was reached at the sixth meeting of a series of water meetings held over the previous two years to avoid conflict among the riparian states.[86]  Nevertheless, one recent news article noted that tensions between the countries that share the Tigris-Euphrates basin (which also includes western Iran) remain high, with Syria and Iraq having accused Turkey of hoarding water.[87]  

Back to Top

Prepared by Wendy Zeldin
Senior Legal Research Analyst*
June 2010

[1] Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkey’s Policy on Water Issues, (last visited Sept. 23, 2013).

[2] Id.

[3] Wafa Ghazouani, François Molle & Edwin Rap, Water Users Associations in the NEN Region: IFAD Interventions and Overall Dynamics (Draft Submitted to International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD) (Oct. 2012), at 25, _in_nen_region.pdf.

[4] Erol H. Cakmak, Agricultural Water Pricing: Turkey, OECD (2010),

[5] Ghazouani, Molle & Rap, supra note 3.

[6] EU-Turkey Relations, European Commission – Enlargement, (last visited Sept. 30, 2013).

[8] Turkey’s Water Policy: National Frameworks and International Cooperation xxvi (Aysegul Kibaroglu, Annika Kramer & Waltina Scheumann eds., Heidelberg; New York: Springer, 2011).

[9] Directive 2008/105/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on Environmental Quality Standards in the Field of Water Policy, Amending and Subsequently Repealing Council Directives 82/176/EEC, 83/513/EEC, 84/156/EEC, 84/491/EEC, 86/280/EEC and Amending Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, 2008 O.J. (L 348) 84, available at /

[10] Council Directive 91/676/EEC of 12 December 1991 Concerning the Protection of Waters Against Pollution Caused by Nitrates from Agricultural Sources, 1991 O.J. (L 375) 1, available at /

[11] Turkey: More Effective Water Management Policies Need to Be Adopted, Euro-Mediterranean Information System on Know-How in the Water Sector (Mar. 27, 2013), /turkey-more-effective-water-management-policies-need-be-adopted.

[12] Id.

[13] State Planning Organization of the Prime Ministry of the Republic of Turkey, Ninth Development Plan 2007–2013 (approved by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on June 28, 2006, by Law No. 877), .tr/plan/ix/9developmentplan.pdf.

[14] Cakmak, supra note  4.

[16] Id.

[17] Id.

[18] Id. at 9–10.

[19] Id. at 10.

[20] Turkey’s Water Policy, supra note 8, at xxiv.

[21] Constitution of the Republic of Turkey (as last amended by Act No. 6214 of Mar. 17, 2011), http://global.; Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Anayasasi [Constitution of the Republic of Turkey], Law No. 2709 (Nov. 7, 1982 , as last amended Mar. 17, 2011), Resmî Gazete [R.G.] No. 27889 (Mar. 29, 2011),

[22] Id.

[23] Aynur Aydin Coskun, Water Law: The Current State of Regulation in Turkey, 28:1 Water Int’l 70 (Mar. 2003), available at (subscription required).

[24] Id.

[25] Id.; Türk Medenî Kanunu [Turkish Civil Code], Law No. 4721 of Nov. 22, 2001 (as last amended May 3, 2013, by Law No. 6462), art. 715, R.G. No. 24607, available at

[26] Cumali Kınacı, Water Management in Turkey (Feb. 21, 2013), PowerPoint slide 15, /CKUpload/Upload/Annex%20A.2%20CUMAL%C4%B0%20KINACI%20-%20TURKEY%20-%20DG%20OF %20SYGM.ppt

[27] Id.

[28] Id. at 14.

[29] Id. at 16; see also the text of the draft law, Su Kanunu Tasarisi [Draft Water Law], Kalkınma Ortak Paydamız [Development Common Denominator, a Turkish government website], _TASLA%C4%9EI_5.10.2012.pdf (last visited Oct. 22, 2013).

[30] Erol C. Cakmak, supra note 4, at 17.

[31] Water Law: The Current State of Regulation in Turkey 74 (Mar. 2003). 

[32] Id. at 73.

[33] Id. at 74.

[34] Ghazouani, Molle & Rap, supra note 3, at 27, citing G. Özerol, A. Özen-Tacer & M. Islar, Public Participation as an Essentially Contested Concept: Insights from Water Management in Turkey, in Water Governance, Policy and Knowledge Transfer: International Studies on Contextual Water Management (C. de Boer, J. Vinke-de Kruijf, G. Özerol & H. Bressers eds., Abingdon; Oxon: Routledge, 2013).  See Mahallî İdare Birlikleri Kanunu, No. 5355 (May 26, 2005, as last amended Dec. 6, 2012, by Law No. 6360), /Metin.Aspx?MevzuatKod=1.5.5355&sourceXmlSearch=&MevzuatIliski=0

[35] Ghazouani, Molle & Rap, supra note 3, at 27.  Sulama Birlikleri Kanunu [Irrigation Associations Law], No. 6172 (Mar. 8, 2011), 27882 R.G. (Mar. 22, 2011), sourceXmlSearch=&MevzuatIliski=0.

[36] Ghazouani, Molle & Rap, supra note 3, at 80.

[37] Id. at 26.

[38] Id.

[39] Usaid El-Hanbali & Ebru Karamete, Turkey Irrigation Sector Reform: What Worked and What Did Not Work (Mar. 9, 2011) PowerPoint Slide 17, _IRR_SECTOR_REFORM.pdf.

[40] OECD, Evaluation of Agricultural Policy Reforms in Turkey 24 (2011), /oecd/pdfs/product/5111091e.pdf

[41] Id.; see Turkey: Law No. 5403 on Soil Preservation and Land Utilization, FAOLEX, ERALL &lang=eng (providing legislative history and link to text, in Turkish) (last visited Dec. 26, 2013).

[42] See Turkey: Law Amending the Law on Soil Preservation and Land Utilization and the Law on Pastures, FAOLEX, ID:LEX-FAOC117280&format_name=ERALL&lang=eng (providing legislative history and link to text, in Turkish) (last visited Dec. 26, 2013).

[43] OECD, supra note 40.

[44] SEMIDE/EMWIS, Local Water Supply, Sanitation and Sewage, Country Report: Turkey 11 (Nov. 2005), /countries/fol749974/semide/PDF/Sogesid-turkey; Devlet Su İşleri Genel Müdürlüğünün Teşkilat ve Görevleri Hakkinda Kanun [Law on Organization and Duties of State Hydraulic Works] (Dec. 18, 1953), http://www.mevzuat

[46] SEMIDE/EMWIS, Interview with Prof. Dr. Cumali Kınacı, Director General of Water Management of the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs (June 21, 2012), links/interview-with-prof.-dr.-cumali-kinaci-director-general-of-water-management-of.

[47] İller Bankasi Anonim Şirketi Hakkinda Kanun [Provincial Bank Corporation Law], No. 6107 (Jan. 26, 2011, as last amended by Law No. 6306 of May 16, 2012), Law No. 6107 repealed the Bank of the Provinces Law, No. 4759 of June 13, 1945 (in force on June 23, 1945).

[48] SEMIDE/EMWIS, supra note 44.

[49] Kınacı, supra note 26, slides 10 & 12.

[50] Cakmak, supra note 4, at 17.

[51] Id. at 7.

[52] Erol H. Cakmak, Irrigation Management and Water Pricing in Turkey, 1(2) Int’l J. Social Ecology & Sustainable Development 14 (Apr.–June 2010).

[53] Ghazouani, Molle & Rap, supra note 3, at 150, citing S. Kodal, Y.E. Yildirim, & H. Demir, Farmers Participation in the Management of Public Irrigation Schemes in Turkey (unpublished FAO country paper, 2005).

[54] Id.

[55] General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works, (last visited Sept. 24, 2013).

[56] Turkey’s Water Policy, supra note 8, at xxiv.

[57] Id.

[58] Selmin Burak, Turkey: Transfer of Irrigation Management to Water Users Associations (PIM) Case # 57, (last visited Sept. 30, 2013).

[59] State Planning Organization of the Prime Ministry of the Republic of Turkey, Ninth Development Plan 2007–2013 (approved by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on June 28, 2006, by Law No. 877), ¶ 182, http://ekutup.dpt  The State Planning Organization, founded in 1960, was reorganized as the Ministry of Development in June 2011, under Decree Law No. 641.  Republic of Turkey Ministry of Development, (last visited Sept. 30, 2013).  For the Tenth Development Plan 2014–2018, see Onuncu Kalkinma Plani (2014–2018) (July 2, 2013), .tr/DocObjects /view/15089/Onuncu_Kalkınma_Planı.pdf.

[60] El-Hanbali & Karamete, supra note 39, slide 13.

[61] SEMIDE/EMWIS, supra note 44, at 11.

[62] Nermin Çiçek & Özge Hande Sahtiyanci, Developments in Turkey in the Context of Participatory Approach Based on River Basin Management, at 3 [n.d.], __in_the_Context_of_ParticipatoryApproach-Fulltext.pdf.

[63] Turkey, European-Mediterranean Information System on Know-How in the Water Sector (Aug. 9, 2011),

[64] Kınacı, supra note 26, slide 18. 

[65] Id., slides 19–20. 

[66] Id., slide 26; see also Çiçek & Sahtiyanci, supra note 62.

[67] Çiçek & Sahtiyanci, supra note 62, at 3–4.

[68] Kınacı, supra note 26, slide 34.

[69] Ilhami Bayramin, Soil Data of Turkey, Currents [sic] Status, Problems, Needs (2012), .eu/esdb_archive/ESDB_Data_Distribution/UPDATES/Extension/izmir2012_turkey_bayramin.pdf.

[70] Çiçek & Sahtiyanci, supra note 62, at 4.

[71] Id.

[72] Cakmak, supra note 4, at 17.

[73] Coskun, supra note 23, at 73. 

[74] Id. at 76.

[75] Turkey’s Water Policy: National Frameworks and International Cooperation, supra note 8, at 127.

[76] Kınacı, supra note 26, slide 11; Yüzeysel Su Kalitesi Yönetimi Yönetmeliği [Bylaw on Surface Water Quality Management], 28483 R.G. (Nov. 30, 2012), Kalitesi_Y%C3%B6netimi_Y%C3%B6netmeli%C4%9Fi_RG.sflb.ashx.

[77] Kınacı, supra note 26, slide 11; Yeralti Sularinin Kirlenmeye ve Bozulmaya Karġi Korunmasi Hakkinda Yönetmelik [Bylaw on the Protection of Groundwater Against Pollution and Deterioration], 28257 R.G. (Apr. 7, 2012), /07-04-2012-28257.pdf.

[78] Turkey’s Water Policy: National Frameworks and International Cooperation, supra note 8, at 127–28.

[79] Id.

[80] Id. at 128.

[81] Id.

[82] Id.

[83] Çiçek & Sahtiyanci, supra note 62, at 4–5.

[84] Turkey’s Water Policy: National Frameworks and International Cooperation, supra note 8, at  xxix.

[85] Id. at 127.

[86] Suzan Fraser, Turkey, Iraq and Syria Tussle over Water Rights in Light of Drought, The Huffington Post (Sept. 3, 2009),

[87] Joshua Hammer, Is a Lack of Water to Blame for the Conflict in Syria?, Smithsonian Magazine (June 2013),  The article notes that “the world’s earliest documented water war happened 4,500 years ago, when the armies of Lagash and Umma, city-states near the junction of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, battled with spears and chariots after Umma’s king drained an irrigation canal leading from the Tigris,” a war that ended when the two states adopted “the world’s first international water treaty, a cuneiform tablet now hanging in the Louvre.”  Id.

* At present there are no Law Library of Congress research staff members versed in Turkish.  This report has been prepared by the author’s reliance on practiced legal research methods and on the basis of relevant legal resources, chiefly in English, currently available in the Law Library and online.             


Back to Top

Last Updated: 04/03/2014