Objectives of GAP
Compared to similar projects worldwide, the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) is rather ambitious in terms of its geographical area, physical magnitudes and targets. It is a multi-sector, integrated regional development project launched in the region of Southeastern Anatolia, one of the relatively less developed regions of the country, comprising 9 administrative provinces (Adiyaman, Batman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Kilis, Mardin, Siirt, Sanliurfa and Sirnak). As an integrated project, it goes beyond physical investments in such facilities as dams, power plants and irrigation schemes and encompasses activities and investments, in a coordinated manner, in many diverse fields including agricultural development, industry, rural and urban infrastructure, communication, education, health, culture, tourism and other social services. The GAP has set its specific targets in the framework of the overall state policy to eliminate inter-regional development disparities. In this sense, the GAP overlaps with the state policy on the assumption that mobilization of the development potential of less developed regions will contribute to such national objectives as economic growth, social stability and export promotion. Indeed, an examination of the development objectives of the GAP clearly reveals this point:
- Overall Development Objectives
- Agricultural Development Objectives
- Industrial Development Objectives
- GAP Planning Approach
- GAP Social Policy Objectives
GAP Social Action Plan, which was prepared to improve the overall situation, accelerate the process of development and to bring solution to problems has the following basic principles:
Planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation activities to develop human and natural resources will be carried out with the participation of people.
Measures will be taken to ensure access to basic resources and to increase efficiency in the utilization of such resources.
There will be cooperation with governmental, local and voluntary organizations and the potential of these organizations (i.e. financing, equipment, technical information, etc.) will be utilized.
Priority will be given to women and young people.
The policy targets of in the Action Plan has been set as follows with respect to individual sectors:
Target 1: Social Structure
To enhance the presence and influence of modern organizations and institutions in order to remove those traditional ones which impede development; to create an infrastructure upon which local sub-culture elements may form a positive synthesis with the national culture; to support family unity and strengthen democratic patterns of intra-family relations by considering changes triggered by the process of development.
Target 2: Agriculture
To improve the efficiency of agricultural extension services by leaving practical work in extension to farmers’ organizations as well as to private and voluntary ones; to shift the role of the government in extension services to the field of support and quality control; to concentrate public investments in education and training in the fields of basic research, basic education and technical-vocational training; to ensure that all farmers can reach relevant and quality information in their local conditions; to remove crop patterns, production relations, types of proprietorship and employment that hinder the process of dynamic development in agriculture; to assess optimal sizes of farming enterprises in the region and to eliminate factors that drive enterprises off from this size; to take measures for the preservation of such communal lands as pastures and ranges.
Target 3: Employment
To reduce the official rate of unemployment in the region, which is above national averages; to attract investors and qualified workforce, who have earlier left the region for various reasons; to take measures to encourage women’s participation to labor force and eliminate factors that prevent this participation; to take economic and social measures to increase income levels and to ensure a balanced distribution of income; to support agro-based and non-agricultural industries and organizations that create in situ employment opportunities; to channel natural and cultural endowments of the region to productive investments that will enhance employment and incomes; to consider the dimensions of employment, health and environment besides efficiency and productivity while selecting and adopting technologies.
Target 4: Education
To take measures to raise the level of education, especially that of girls, in the region; to ensure the spread of education opportunities equally to all population sections; To raise the regional levels of school enrolment and literacy at least to country averages; to enhance the functionality of formal and non-formal education by introducing and expanding pre-school education programs; to assign specific importance to vocational and technical training that will make young people who have a large share in total population economically productive in short and medium-term; to give special importance also to efforts to raise the social, educational and health status of women who remain in the margin of development and modernization process.
Target 5: Health
To take measures to bring infant and child mortality and fertility rates in the region closer to country averages; to expand the coverage of preventive health services and ensure people’s access to such services; to take relevant measures to the identification and prevention of health problems that may follow the expansion of irrigation in the region.
Target 6: Population
To follow demographic policies which observes the balance between the rate of economic growth and population increase in line with the principle of sustainable development; to encourage population movements in a way to contribute to the economic and social potential of the region; to take measures to encourage the concentration of population in central villages and medium size cities.
Target 7: Settlement
To encourage the settlement of nomadic and semi-nomadic communities whose living environments are continuously shrinking as a result of social and economic changes; to observe principles relating to social, economic and cultural development in the resettlement of communities affected by dam lakes.