October 2012 : La Turquie, géographie d’une puissance émergente

La Turquie, géographie d’une puissance émergente, by Marcel Bazin and Stéphane de Tapia, Paris, Armand Colin, 2012, 335 pages.

This book is the first comprehensive book devoted in French language to the physical, economic, social, cultural and political geography of Turkey, a state which counts now among the emerging countries and has recently been admitted as a member of the G 20. The authors first remind how present-day Turkey has resulted from the encounter of a land of old civilisations and a nomadic people from Central Asia, leading to the foundation, growth and decline of a tricontinental empire, on the ruins of which Mustafa Kemal has built the modern Republic of Turkey. They then show how the spatial organisation of the country lies upon three major contrasts : maritime regions vs semi-arid interior regions ; developed West vs underdeveloped East ; rural areas vs cities which constitute a strongly hierarchized urban network dominated by the metropolis Istanbul and the political capital Ankara, and how migratory patterns and the geopolitical setting of Turkey impact on its recent evolution. Many planning issues are dealt with as well : infrastructure building and industrialization, urban growth management and housing problems, regional development programmes and regionalization process engaged in answer to EU incentive.