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The Southeastern Anatolia Region covers 9.7 percent of the lands in Turkey with a surface area of 75,000 km2. It is adjacent to the Eastern Anatolia and the Mediterranean Regions. It also has borders with Syria and Iraq. As in the other regions, the borders of the provinces do not coincide with the regional border.

Sanliurfa and Mardin Provinces, with the exception of some very small sections, are within the region. Some sections of the other provinces are either in the Eastern Anatolia or Mediterranean Regions. The Southeastern Anatolia Region is under the influence of both the continental climate and the Mediterranean climate.

The long summers are hot and dry. The winters are cold with rainfall or snowfall. In recent years, some changes have been experienced in the climate in the region thanks to the dam lakes constructed within the scope of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP). There has been a decrease in the period of dry weather and rainfall has increased. The Southeastern Anatolia Region resembles the Central Anatolia Region from the aspect of the agricultural economy.

A great majority of the arable lands are allocated to the sowing of grains, with the exception of the Gaziantep region, where there is a diversification of vegetable products, due to the similarity of the area to that of the Mediterranean climate. Wheat is of primary importance among the varieties of grains, and its share exceeds one tenth of the total wheat production in Turkey. Among the grains, barley is in second place and lentils are in third place.

More than 50 percent of the lentil production in Turkey is in the Southeastern Anatolia Region. The cultivation of rice is carried out in a dispersed manner in the sections which can be irrigated, especially in Diyarbakir Province. Within the scope of the GAP Project, which changed the fate of the region, irrigated agriculture has been adopted on some plains in the region and the sowing of industrial plants has been accelerated.

In fact, there is a big boom in cotton production, especially on the Harran Plain, which extends from the south of Sanliurfa to the Syrian border. The best quality cotton in the region is grown here.

Tobacco, which has a significant place among the industrial plants, is sown in Adiyaman, Siirt and Diyarbakir and a valuable type of tobacco called "the Oriental Type" is grown in these provinces. In the Gaziantep region, olives and pistachio nuts are also among the most important products, along with grapes. Pistachio nuts are also grown in the Adiyaman and Siirt regions.The large pistachio nuts of Siirt are particularly delicious.

The most important underground resource in the region is petroleum. A portion of the crude oil produced in the environs of Raman, Garzan and Kahta, is refined at the Batman Refinery, which is one of the most important industrial establishments in the region. Another portion of the crude oil is transported by pipeline to the filling facilities in the Mediterranean Region and then to the other regions by tankers.

The most important industrial city in the Southeastern Anatolia Region is Gaziantep. The textile, machinery and food industries are fairly developed here. Industrial branches such as the cement, food, metal goods, agricultural equipment and similar industries are found in Diyarbakir, Mardin and Sanliurfa where the industries are developing.