Effects of the contracts and construction of Istanbul-Baghdad railway on Anatolian forests


JOURNAL OF SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY, vol.38, no.6, pp.572-590, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 38 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/10549811.2019.1598441
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.572-590
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Industrial revolutions, particularly railway construction, which are the prominent outcomes of the former, constitute one of the major cornerstones of the history of humanity. The Ottomans desperately needed railways to overcome domestic disturbances and conflicts, as well as for the integration of agricultural goods to markets. They lacked the economic means to construct railways. Therefore, they had to grant all the resources (including the forest resources) located within a line of 10 km on either side of the line to the companies (countries) constructing the railroad. In this study historical accounts and document analysis were used to build a case for the impact on natural resources. As a result of this study, it is calculated the 3,654,000 ha of land was given as concession to the German companies constructing the Istanbul-Baghdad railway. It is thought that 1,059,660 ha of this land are forests. These forest areas were completely deforested around 1888-1914. Sustainable management of forests has not been possible with the influence of some other developments. Reforestation and natural regeneration works in Turkey were initiated by Law No. 3116 issued in 1937. Therefore, the repair of these destroyed forests could only be started from 1937.