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A Retrospective View of the Turkish Rural Urban Development Policies and the Case of the Village Towns

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Using a spatial framework perspective, this article critically reviews Turkish urban rural development policies retrospectively and explores the reasons behind their failure. The study traces the roots of recent Turkish rural urban policies back to philosophical and conceptual developments that began during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, later gaining acceptance in the first decade of the newly founded Republic. It then uses Central Place and von Thünen's Agricultural Location Theories to analyze complex relationships between settlement hierarchy, market size, distance to village settlements, and intensity in production and crop choices in order to explain what may happen when a policy intervenes or tries to change these spatial relationships. Finally, it concludes that, together, a lack of feasibility studies of spatial and socioeconomic characteristics of planned developments, poor citizen participation and political instability all contributed to the failure of Village Town and similar projects.
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Keywords: Rural–Urban Policy; Turkey; Westernization; rural development; von Thunen

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University, Department of Economics and Public Administrative Sciences, Kahramanmaras, Turkey

Publication date: 2005-12-01

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