Rethinking the Role of Organized Industrial Zones for Local Development: An Investigation for Turkey

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MEGARON, vol.11, no.1, pp.106-124, 2016 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.5505/megaron.2016.29200
  • Journal Name: MEGARON
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.106-124
  • Keywords: Regional development, organized industrial zones, site selection criteria
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Turkey's organized industrial zones serve to balance regional development by directing private sector investments to specific regions, or by providing monetary or physical incentives to augment existing investment incentives. They also serve to cover land requirements of developing industries and aid in joint industrial production within the framework of a specific program, consequently generating an external economy. In addition, organized industrial zones aid in national development by incentivizing underdeveloped regions, drawing industrial investments to these regions with the aim of achieving regional equality. Organized industrial zones are the product of an organized, orderly approach. They provide spatial planning and serve as instruments of development, efficiently directing industry to less-developed regions and activating regional development potential. Operation of Turkey's first organized industrial zone began in 1962, and nearly 280 organized industrial zones have been established to date. While direction of industry to underdeveloped regions is one goal, the establishment of several organized industrial zones in developed regions has also been planned. It can be said that differences between underdeveloped and developed regions have increased to favor the developed regions. In order for the economic benefits to make an additional positive impact on city planning, decisions regarding the zones must be made on national and regional levels. Implementations based on principles such as providing regional equality, preventing inequitable development, and the internal provision of technical and social infrastructure have brought about poor investments through the use of slogans such as "An organized industrial zone for each province." Consequently, there are now many inactive organized industrial zones with low occupancy rates that are unable to provide expected industrial development. The aims of the present declaration are first to describe the current status of organized industrial zones (the number of organized industrial zones per province, their occupancy rates, etc.), to evaluate their role as instruments of development, and to further discuss their efficacy.