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    Soil Survey and Soil

    Database of Turkey

    1 Ural Dinç1Suat Senol 2Cemil Cangir 1A. Oğuz Dinç 1Erhan Akça 1 Mahmut Dingil1Eren Oztekin 3Burçak Kapur 1 Selim Kapur1Department of Soil Science, University of Cukurova, 01330, Adana, Turkey 2Department of Soil Science, University of Thrace, Tekirdag, Turkey 3Department of Environmental Engineering, Yuzuncu Yil University, Van, Turkey

Introduction Countrywide Soil Surveys

    conducted by the GDRS Turkey has a total land area of 78 million ha.

    About 28 million ha are devoted to cultivation. In the early 1960s, the task of classifying and Thus, over the last five decades soil surveys have mapping of soils in Turkey in more detail than in received particular attention for land use planning the past soil surveys (Caglar, 1958; Oakes, 1958) and the sustainable management of natural was given to the former TOPRAKSU or the resources that have been carried out by the present GDRS. These studies were meant to be responsible body of the General Directorate of part of the small-scale reconnaissance soil maps of Rural Services (GDRS). Europe, which were prepared from 1966 to 1971, using topographic maps at 1:25,000 scales. The Unfortunately, farmland is threatened by a rapidly preparation of further maps at provincial growing, huge transportation and construction (1:100,000 scale) and basin level (twenty six maps industry in need of large spaces that have mainly at 1:200,000 scale), (Figure 1) for use in land occupied prime soils with access to marketing management and planning, was undertaken using centres and metropolitan areas since the early the Great Soil Group system of Baldwin et al., 1960s. Hence, the country’s primary necessity has (1938), together with essential phases. been to consider the re-establishment and renovation of the previously functioning soil The pioneering soil studies using the earlier survey service of the General Directorate of Soil version of Soil Taxonomy of the Soil Survey Staff and Water (TOPRAKSU-Turkish acronym) (USDA, 1960) were accomplished by Groneman transformed as the GDRS. (1968) in Karapinar (Central Anatolia), de Meester (1970) on the Konya Plain (Central Anatolia) and The major emphasis is on the development of Boxem and Wielemaker (1972) in the Kucuk interdisciplinary management plans for the Menederes Valley (Western Anatolia). From 1973 numerous agro-ecosystems of the country. The to 1984, numerous soil survey reports of the GDRS renovation of the soil survey activities, the enabled planners to develop the strategies needed responsibility of the Ministries of Agriculture, for solving problems related to land use planning Forestry and Environment in Turkey, follows and accomplishing well based legislation (State earlier examples of development elsewhere, such Planning Office-SPO, 1973, 1979, 1984; Official as that of the Macaulay Soil Research Institute of Gazette, 1995). Scotland in Aberdeen into its contemporary version, the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute


    Soil Survey and Soil Data Base of Turkey. Dinç et al. 371


    Figure 1: The water basins of Turkey

     Total area surveyed:1.900.540 haGDAEMANC

    Figure 2: Soil Surveys undertaken by The University of Çukurova in collaboration

    with the GDAE, GDRS and MANC GDRS

    However, these land use legislations were rarely mismatch between land quality and land use, applied in reality, due to uncoordinated actions by resulting in land resource consumption (Cangir et

    government agencies and local administrations al., 2000) and land degradation. pursuing different approaches in developing land

    use policies. Ultimately, this caused the expected

    Soil Survey and Soil Data Base of Turkey. Dinç et al. 372


    The present GDRS activities and responsibilities in

    the area of soils are to sustain soil and water

    management, monitor soil fertility of cultivated the World Reference Base (WRB), and is available soils, conduct environmental impact assessments on the website of the NIC. Furthermore, soil and create the national soil database. To address studies related to environmental management and these activities, the National Information Centre of monitoring of the Agroscapes (term coined by Soil and Water Resources (NIC) was established in Akça et al., 2004 to complement the Soilscape 1999. concept of the WRB designating particular landscapes of soils with indigenous plant cover) The NIC has recently completed the digitisation of have been conducted in the department in the available soil maps at the scale of 1:25,000 and collaboration with the Mediterranean Agronomic has set up the national data base. Thus, thematic Institute in Bari, Italy, funded by the EU. maps, such as those relating to present land use, erosion risk and land use capability, are made New projects focussing on man-made Agroscapes available on request by NIC for governmental and are under preparation, covering the riparian public use. In addition, a network of organisations countries of the Mediterranean basin. These are led is under construction to cover many aspects of the by the European Soils Bureau of the Instıtute of natural resources of the country. Environment and Sustainability in Ispra-Milan,

    Italy. The Departments of Soil Science of the

    Universities of Ankara, Atatürk in Erzurum-

    Eastern Turkey, Ege in Izmir-Western Turkey and Soil Surveys, Monitoring of Thrace in Tekirdağ, Thrace have conducted

    numerous soil surveys concerning the sustainable Land Degradation and land management of particular areas at risk from Desertification of Agro-improper land use.

     ecosystems A special study of the soils of Thrace has been

    undertaken by the Research Group of Land Soil surveys supporting agro-ecosystem Evaluation of the Department of Soil Science of management have mostly been conducted by the the University of Thrace, with emphasis on departments of Soil Science of several universities pollution caused by the increasing industrial in the country, for example, by the University of sprawl. This has involved the preparation of land Cukurova in Adana, Southern Turkey (Figure 2). use maps, together with environmental risk assessments and land use capability classifications, The Soil Survey and Remote Sensing Research and these form a basis for recommendations for the Group of this university, equipped with most appropriate land use. contemporary soft- and hardware technology, led

    by the principal author of this article, has

    accomplished the soil survey of a land area of

    337,000ha in the south of Turkey, Cukurova region Soil Surveys and Land Use (Figure 3) and 32,000ha in Northern Cyprus at a Planning for the Sustainable scale of 1:25,000, with funds from the Ministry of

    Agriculture of the Turkish Republic of Northern Use of Water Cyprus (MANC).

     The General Directorate of the State Hydraulic Other large scale soil survey work undertaken by Works (SHW) has completed maps at the scale of the research group of the department has included 1:25,000 showing soil suitability for irrigation in the mapping of the land use and land capability of the large basins in Turkey. The maps have been a total of 27 State Farms of the General Directorate used for the sustainable water management of the of Agricultural Establishments (GDAE) at a scale basins in collaboration with the GDRS. of 1:25,000, covering a land area of 361,980ha (Figure 4). The largest project undertaken by the Since the early 1960’s the SHW has been department has been the detailed soil survey and monitoring water availability in basins using data land use planning of the 14 basins (853,188ha) of obtained from numerous observation wells, the South Eastern Anatolian Irrigation Project area meteorological records and records of the amounts (The GAP, Turkish acronym), funded by the of water used in irrigation. Further studies on the GDRS (Figure 5). determination of sustainable water management proceeds via bilateral international projects and the Maps are available at the NIC in digitised format at collaboration of the Department of Agricultural 1:25,000 scales for all of the cultivated soils of Constructions and Irrigation of the University Turkey. The soil map and the database of 1:1 Cukurova. The main concern of these studies is million scale is also being prepared in irrigation and related agricultural practices such as collaboration with the GDRS using the system of tillage and their effects on regional climate change

    especially in the Mediterranean part of Turkey.

    Soil Survey and Soil Data Base of Turkey. Dinç et al. 373


Figure 3: Soil association map of the Cukurova Region in the WRB system

Figure 4: Land Capability Classes of Figure 5: Soil association map of the

    the Altınova State Farm Harran Plain- the largest plain in South

    Eastern Anatolia

    Soil Survey and Soil Data Base of Turkey. Dinç et al. 4 374


    Participation of the irrigation management unions Turkey by scientists and technicians working on is also sought for the development of a bottom to projects of sustainable soil and water management, top approach for the determination of sustainable urban development, renovation of cadastral plans water management in the basin. and construction of infra and ultra structures such

    as the petroleum pipelines crossing the country.

    Raw material / soil extraction for roads, buildings Future Prospects for Soil and brick manufacturing along with the highly Survey in Turkey developed ceramic industries of the country are the

    other prospective fields that require ample There is an increasing demand for available as well technical input from soil survey reports. as new reconnaissance and detailed soil surveys in


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