Local Knowledge on Tree Health in Forest Villages in Turkey

  • Akile Gürsoy


This chapter explores forest villagers’ perceptions of tree health in Turkey compared to scientific views and the attitudes of the central forestry administration and the national laws and regulations on forests. The findings from an anthropological study (2014–2017) suggest that the value attributed to a tree and consequently the concerns over its health very much depend on the economic and cultural relationship that an individual has with the tree, whether it is a tree in the garden, the orchard, the forest or a certified monumental tree. Unresolved controversies over the villagers’ perceptions and understanding of tree health and disease versus scientific views and explanations call for participatory dialogues for the benefit of trees and forests.



The research reported in this chapter was produced as a social sciences research project, entitled “Social anthropological research on forest villages in Turkey”, sponsored by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) (Grant Number SOBAG-1001–114K125).


  1. Alkan, S., & Toksoy, D. (2008). Economic livelihood in forest villages: The example of Trabzon (in Turkish). Kastamonu Üniversitesi Orman Fakültesi Dergisi, 8(1), 37–46.Google Scholar
  2. Altan, Y., Akgül, H., Uğur, Y., & Solak, H. (1998). The monumental trees of Manisa and their place in folk culture (in Turkish). Manisa: Celal Bayar University Publications. ISBN 975-6829-00-1.Google Scholar
  3. Angel, H. (2008). Green China. UK: Stacey International.Google Scholar
  4. Appadurai, A. (1991). Global ethnospaces—Notes and queries for a transnational anthropology. In R. G. Fox (Ed.), Recapturing anthropology: Working in the present. Sante Fe: School of American Research.Google Scholar
  5. Archard, F. (2009). Vital forest graphics. UNEP, FAO, UNFF.Google Scholar
  6. Arslan, İ., & Şahin B. (2016). Ethnographic village report for TR6 Mediterranean Region, Turkey, (TÜBİTAK Project No. 114K125).Google Scholar
  7. Ata, C. (2007, September 13–15). Arboratums and urban forests (in Turkish). Proceedings of Urban İstanbul Symposium, İstanbul.Google Scholar
  8. Atasoy, N. (2002). A garden for the Sultan—Gardens and flowers in the Ottoman culture. Istanbul: Aygaz.Google Scholar
  9. Atmış, E., Özden, S., & Wietze, L. (2007). Urbanization pressures on the natural forests in Turkey: An overview. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 6(2), 83–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Atran, S. (1996). Cognitive foundations of natural history—Toward an anthropology of science. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Aygen, D. (2002). Forest law and related articles (in Turkish). Ankara: Adil Yayınevi.Google Scholar
  12. Barlı, Ö. (2006). Analytical approach for analyzing and providing solutions for the conflicts among forest stakeholders across Turkey. Forest Policy and Economics, 9, 219–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bingöl, İ. H. (2005). Forests and forest management in our country (in Turkish). Ankara: Baran Ofset.Google Scholar
  14. Bozok, N. (2016). Ethnographic village report for TR3 Aegean Region, Turkey (TÜBİTAK Project No. 114K125).Google Scholar
  15. Çağlar, Y. (1992). Forests and forest management in Turkey (in Turkish). Cep Üniversitesi, İletişim Yayınları.Google Scholar
  16. Çakın, P. (2015). Ethnographic village, Turkey (TÜBİTAK Project No. 114K125).Google Scholar
  17. Çenkoğlu, S. (2016). Ethnographic village report for TR5 Western Anatolia Region, Turkey (TÜBİTAK Project No. 114K125).Google Scholar
  18. Çepel, N. (2008). Forests and functional values we have destroyed and forest mortality in our time (İn Turkish). İstanbul: TEMA Vakfı Yayınları.Google Scholar
  19. De Planhol, X. (1965). Les nomades, la stepe et la forêt en Anatolie. Geographische Zeitshchrift, 53(2–3), 291–308.Google Scholar
  20. Dobson, A., & Eckersley, R. (2006). Political theory and the ecological challenge. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Doğru, S. (2016). Ethnographic village report for TRA Northwestern Anatolia region, Turkey (TÜBİTAK Project No. 114K125).Google Scholar
  22. Douglas, M. (1966). Purity and danger, an analysis of concepts of pollution and taboo. UK: Routledge and Keegan Paul.Google Scholar
  23. Dursun, S. (2007). Forest and the state: History of forestry and forest administration in the Otoman Empire (Unpublished Ph.D. thesis). Sabancı University.Google Scholar
  24. Emlik, H. (2017). Ethnographic village report for TRC South East Anatolia region, Turkey (TÜBİTAK Project No. 114K125).Google Scholar
  25. Erdoğan, C. (2017). Ethnographic village report for TR7 Central Anatolia, Turkey (TÜBİTAK Project No. 114K125).Google Scholar
  26. Erdönmez, C., & Özden, S. (2009). Relations between rural development projects and urban migration: The Köykent Project in Turkey. Ciencia Rural, 39(6), 1873. Santa Maria.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Eroğlu, V. (2016). Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs.
  28. FAO. (2016). Global forest resources assessment 2015. How are the worlds’ forests changing? (2nd ed.). Rome: UN Food and Agriculture Organization.Google Scholar
  29. Göl, C., Özden, S., & Yılmaz, H. (2011). Interactions between rural migration and land use change in the forest villages in the Gökçay Watershed. Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry, 35, 247–257.Google Scholar
  30. Görcelioğlu, E. (2003). New environmental program for Finnish forestry (in Turkish), TEMA Foundation, No. 41.Google Scholar
  31. Gülersoy, Ç. (1972). Monumental trees of İstanbul (İn Turkish). İstanbul: Türkiye Turing ve Otomobil Kurumu.Google Scholar
  32. Gülöksüz, E. (2010). Ownership rights in the forest, historic and contemporary developments (in Turkish). Proceedings of Ownership of Land, Symposium. Ankara: Memleket Yayınları.Google Scholar
  33. İdrisoğlu, G. (2015). Ethnographic village report for TR1 İstanbul region, Turkey (TÜBİTAK Project No. 114K125).Google Scholar
  34. Kagan, J. (2009). The three cultures—Natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities in the 21st century. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kaplan, V. (2015). Ethnographic village report for TR4 Eastern Marmara Region, Turkey (TÜBİTAK Project No. 114K125).Google Scholar
  36. Karpat, K. (1967). The Gecekondu: Rural migration and urbanization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Knudsen, S. (2009). Fishers and scientists in modern Turkey, the management of natural resources, knowledge and identity on the Eastern Black Sea Coast (Vol. 8), Studies in Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology. New York: Berghahn Books.Google Scholar
  38. Marzano, M., Dandy, N., Papazova-Anakieva, I., Avtzis, D., Connolly, T., Eschen, R., et al. (2016, September). Assessing awareness of tree pests and pathogens amongst tree professionals: A pan-European perspective. Forest Policy and Economics, 70, 164–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mataracı, T. (2004). Trees, the exotic trees and shrubs of Marmara Region (Turkey) (in Turkish) (TEMA, Publication No. 39).Google Scholar
  40. Millar, C. I., & Stephenson, N. L. (2015). Temperate forest health in an era of emerging megadisturbance. Science, 349(6250), 823–826.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Namıkoğlu, N. G. (2012). The trees and shrubs of Turkey (in Turkish). İstanbul: NTV Publications.Google Scholar
  42. Öner, N., Özden, S., & Üstüner, B. (2010). Relationship between a natural monumental stand in Turkey and local beliefs. Journal of Environmental Biology, 31, 149–155.Google Scholar
  43. Özbay, F. (2015). Family, city and population—Past and present (in Turkish). İstanbul: İletişim Publications.Google Scholar
  44. PROFOR Innovation and Action for Forests and World Bank Group, Poverty, Forest Dependence and Migration in the Forest Communities of Turkey, Washington, June 2017.
  45. Radkau, J. (2008). Nature and power (2002 German). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, General Directorate of Forestry. (2012). Forests of Turkey. Ankara. ISBN 978-605-393-044-0.Google Scholar
  47. Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, General Directorate of Forestry. (2015). Forest wealth of Turkey 2015 (in Turkish).
  48. Rural Environment and Forestry Problems Research Foundation. (2013). A rural environmental story: What happened to boxwood trees (in Turkish). Ankara: Kırsal Çevre ve Ormancılık Sorunları Araştırma Derneği Yayını No. 16.Google Scholar
  49. Sağlam, B., & Öztürk, A. (2008). The relationship between forest villagers and forestry administration in increasing activities for the protection of the forest: The example of Artvin Regional Directorate (in Turkish). Orman Fakültesi Dergisi, 8(2), 131–143. Kastamonu Üni.Google Scholar
  50. Suzuki, P. (1964). Encounters with İstanbul: Urban peasants and village peasants. International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 5, 208–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Suzuki, P. (1966). Peasants without plows: Some Anatolians in İstanbul. Rural Sociology, 31(4), 428–438.Google Scholar
  52. Tan, T. (2016). Ethnographic village report for TR2 western Marmara Region, Turkey (TÜBİTAK Project No. 114K1250).Google Scholar
  53. The World Bank. (2009). The little green data book. Washington: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  54. The World Bank. (2016). The little green data book. Washington: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  55. Tolunay, A., & Alkan, H. (2008). Intervention to the misuse of land by the forest villages: A case study from Turkey. Ekoloji, 17(68), 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Tüncer, E. (2016). Ethnographic village report for TRB Central Anatolia Region, Turkey (TÜBİTAK Project No. 114K125).Google Scholar
  57. Türkeli, H. (2014). Ethnographic report for TR9 eastern Black Sea region, Turkey (TÜBİTAK Project No. 114K125).Google Scholar
  58. Üsküdar Municipality (Üsküdar Belediyesi). (2003). Impressive witnesses over centuries: From verses to our hearts—The monumental trees of Üsküdar (in Turkish).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akile Gürsoy
    • 1
  1. 1.Sociology Department, Faculty of Sciences and LettersBeykent University, Avalon CampusİstanbulTurkey

Personalised recommendations