The paper assesses the extent of the forest area change in Turkey between 2005 and 2015 across 81 provinces and seven geographical regions. The results show that the situation varies at provincial and regional levels, but overall Turkey's forest area increased. An increase in forest areas in 60 out of 81 provinces was recorded, while there was a decrease in 19, and no change in the remaining two. There was a significant negative correlation between forest area and human population size. However, the change in forest area was found to have a significant positive relationship with the change in forest growing stock and current annual increment. Decrease in forest area was mainly seen in the provinces where there has been an intensive population increase, mainly through the impact of rapid urbanisation and industrialisation. In addition, it was observed that forest areas in these provinces became more fragmented due to allocations based on new legal regulations. A further finding was that the increase in total forest area was not the result of afforestation efforts by Turkey's forestry organisation but resulted from changes in the socioeconomic structure of the population, and related processes such as rural to urban migration.
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Vol. 21 • No. 2