An essentially agricultural country, Turkey has two thirds of its population employed in the work of the fields, with maximum values in the vilâyet Bolu (93%), Çoruh (98.1) and Isparta (98.5) and minimum values in those of Constantinople (9.7), Içel (34.1), and Izmir (45.9). The arable land occupies about a third of the total territory of the state (32%), pastures extend over just over a third (36%), almost a fifth (18%) is covered by forests and the rest is occupied by sterile soils (13%) or water (1%). But the land actually cultivated is only a small part of that which can be cultivated, so that Turkish agriculture has very favorable development prospects ahead of it. The property is very divided and the estates have an average area of just 15-20 ha., Which increases a little only in the AdanaMersina region (30-35). The family is made up of an average of 5.2 people. To facilitate the learning of agricultural rules and to scientifically study the agrarian problems of the country a high school of agriculture was founded (1933) in Angora and numerous experimental stations were created. Tithes on products have been replaced with indirect taxes. For Turkey 2016, please check softwareleverage.org.
In low and poorly drained areas malaria raged which was fought both by draining some swamps and by distributing quinine in large quantities (5-7000 kg. Per year). Vigorous means have also been adopted to limit the damage of trachoma, which rages especially in the surroundings of Malatya. An attempt was made to develop irrigation and good results were obtained mainly in the plain located in the SW. di Conia (10 thousand ha.), using the waters of Lake Kireli; some works have also been carried out to drain the waters of the Çubuk river and irrigate the plain between Angora and Polatli. Over a thousand square kilometers. (1170) are covered by marshes and 8343 sq km. from lakes. Another scourge that had to be fought is that of grasshoppers.
The main crops are cereals (89.5% of the cultivated area), legumes (3.9%) and industrial plants (6.6%). Among cereals, wheat (57.2%) prevails, followed by barley (25.8%), maize and rye. Among the legumes, the largest areas are occupied by vetches, chickpeas, beans and broad beans. Among the industrial plants, cotton, tobacco, sesame and opium prevail.
The production of cereals is subject to truly disconcerting differences according to the seasons and is on average still very low (extensive cultivation), given that spring wheat yields only 6-7 quintals per hectare. and that in winter 8-10. Cotton in the soils of Cilicia is an irrigation plant (Içel), while in the western vilâyet (Aydïn, Manisa, Izmir) it is a dry crop. A third area where this crop is widespread is found in the eastern vilâyet, from where the product is exported to the USSR. Due to the fall in prices, cultivation is significantly decreasing, but the establishment of new industrial plants will certainly have a recovery as a result. Tobacco must then be added to these crops (450,000 q.: especially in the vilâyet of Izmir, Samsun, Magnesia, Tokat, Muǧla, Kocaeli, Burssa, Bolu), grapes (310,000 q.), figs (280,000 q.). The cultivation of tobacco is favored by the climate and the soil, which lends itself very well to the production of fine qualities, and is also cared for by very skilled farmers.
There are 30 million olive trees, which in good years produce 26 million kg. of olives. The vine is used by the Turks (Muslims) above all to produce table grapes, fresh or dried (especially the sultana quality, without seeds); the vineyards, which extend over about 500 thousand hectares, were heavily damaged around 1877 by phylloxera and then partly reconstituted using American vines. Alcohol production has recently begun, which is a state monopoly. The northern region facing the Black Sea also has a notable production of hazelnuts. Many other valuable plants also grow and in the valley of the Great Meander licorice is collected, which is used, as well as as a medicine, to modify the aroma of certain tobaccos, and styrax (Liquidambar orientalis M.), which serves as a perfume, while further inland some papilionaceae of the genus Astragalus provide the dredging gum. The vallonea (Quercus aegilops) of which the acorns or the dust formed by the capsules fallen on the ground are collected. Pistachios are also exported, but the quality is not the best, since they are mostly produced by grafting the mastic. The Afyon Karahisar area (name meaning “Black Opium Castle”) is also renowned for the cultivation of opium poppies, of which 250-300 thousand kg are obtained annually in Turkey, with a morphine content of 10%. Three factories work in Istanbul on this product, which is then for the most part illegally exported to Egypt. Beautiful rose crops are found in the Sparta plateau and around Burdur.
Overall, it must be recognized that much has undoubtedly been done to improve the far from prosperous post-war conditions. New areas suitable for the cultivation of cotton were sought, and efforts were made to extend the cultivation of hemp and flax. The number of agricultural machinery has risen to about 15 thousand and the number of primitive wooden plows (which are still one million and 200 thousand) is continuously decreasing compared to those of iron (220 thousand).
The forest covers an area of almost 90,000 sq km, with values that exceed 40% of the area in the vilâyet of Kïrklareli (60.8%) in Thrace, Zonguldak (49.6), Içel (43.4%), while it has minimal values in the central plateaus, as in the vilâyet of Niǧde (0.6), Gümüçane (0.7), KïrŞehir (0.2). In 1934 the production of wood for work was 1158 thousand cubic meters. for the pine (a very strong increase compared to previous years), 151 thousand cubic meters. for the fir, 83,000 for the hornbeam, 36,000 for the oak, 23,000 for the cedar. A half million tonnes has also been obtained. of firewood and 93 thousand tons. of charcoal. Exports are still limited, given the distance of the countries that need timber.
The breeding has very favorable conditions in the steppe areas of the interior, especially for sheep and goats, while horses are fewer in number, given the use of the donkey and camel as pack animals, the latter above all in the area of Antalya. The buffalo is widespread in swampy regions. The milk of the sheep and goats is preserved fermented in a special way; the Angora goats then provide the mohair wool. Without taking into account the not yet adult animals, the Turkish livestock herd is made up as follows (1934):
It should be added that the breeding of poultry animals is also very widespread, which gives rise to a considerable export of eggs, and that in the surroundings of Constantinople and Brussa the breeding of silkworms has a centuries-old tradition (production 1890 tons. of cocoons).