Water Works Through Four Millenia in Turkey

Ozis U.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROCESSES-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL, vol.2, no.3, pp.559-573, 2015 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 2 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s40710-015-0085-3
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.559-573
  • Keywords: Historical, Water work, Hydraulic, Structure, Turkey, SYSTEM, CITY
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Turkey is one of the foremost open-air museums of the world with regard to historical water works from the last 4000 years. Some of them are still in operation after several centuries or even several millennia. There are remains of dams, irrigation canals, and water collection structures dating back to the IInd millenium BC, the Hittite period in Central Anatolia. Several dams, irrigation canals, qanats date back to the first half of the Ist millenium BC, the Urartu period in Eastern Anatolia. Long-distance water conveyance systems, pipes, masonry canals, inverted siphons, tunnels, dams date back to the second half of the Ist millenium BC and the Ist millenium AD, the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods in Western and Southern Anatolia. Some dams, canals, watermills date back to the 11th to 14th centuries, the Seljukide period in Central and Eastern Anatolia. Several dams, irrigation canals, long distance water conveyance systems date back to the 14th to early 20th centuries, the Ottoman period in Turkey. Based on this tradition from four millenia, the modern Republic of Turkey, founded in 1923, is continuing to develop her water resources. The South-eastern Anatolia Project, encompassing the Euphrates-Tigris basin in Turkey, is the most interesting example.