Finke Käufeler

Fakultäten » Philosophische Fakultät » Sozialanthropologie und Empirische Kulturwissenschaft, Institut für » Ethnologie » Prof. Dr. Peter Finke » Finke Käufeler

Completed research project

Title / Titel Development and Trust in Upper Mesopotamia: The social impacts of GAP (Güneydoğu Anadolu Projesi)
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung GAP (Güneydoğu Anadolu Projesi, Southeast Anatolia Project) is a large-scale integrated regional project in Southeastern Anatolia/Upper Mesopotamia, one of the most ambitious development schemes of the Republic of Turkey. GAP involves irrigation and hydro-electric power generation development by a system of more than 20 large dams and lakes on the rivers Euphrates and Tigris and their tributaries, as well as the development spin-offs that are expected for all other sectors. GAP was conceived and construction began three decades ago, large parts are completed, especially in the Western Branch on the Euphrates, while on the Eastern, Tigris Branch much is currently under construction, while other parts are still at various stages of planning (such as the hotly contested and much criticized Ilısu dam).

The project attempts to study the social impacts of GAP anthropologically, taking a local, bottom-up perspective. A team of Turkish and Swiss researchers will conduct extended fieldwork in the area. The project will focus on selected field sites reflecting different stages of the implementation of GAP, i.e. sites where the flooding of villages and agricultural fields has happened some time ago as well as more recent cases and those that are still waiting for the onset of development. In particular three doctoral students, all experienced researchers, will stay for a year in these selected locations to study the effects of GAP ventures basically with the established anthropological method of participant observation. In addition, other methods will be utilized as deemed necessary, e.g. to study the ramifications of the issue beyond the local level. The project is based on a close collaboration between the University of Zurich and the Middle Eastern Technical University (METU) in Ankara.

We consider the issue of trust to be a promising focus for the analysis of these processes. The GAP region has been highly affected by the 'Kurdish conflict' in recent decades and social relationships such as those between local populations and state authorities as well as within and between local communities must be considered under this angle. Especially issues of resettlement are hotly contested.

We are confident, that a comparative analysis of circumstances and developments such as these will allow insights and shed light on the workings of the institutions involved such as states, tribes, private enterprises, political clienteles or NGOs, and can thus contribute to the development of the anthropology of complex and dynamic contemporary societies.
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Prof. Peter Finke, Dr. (Project Leader)
Prof. Heinz Käufeler, Dr. (Project Leader)
M.A. Zeynep Sariaslan  
M.A. Akcinar Mustafa  
M.A. Annelies Kujpers  
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
Universität Zürich (position pursuing an academic career), SNF (Personen- und Projektförderung)
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
Prof. Sibel Kalaycioglu, Department of Sociololgy, Middle East Technical University Turkey
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Mar 2012 to Jul 2018