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A New Region: Landholders And Industrialists

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Chapter Summary

The increase in cotton cultivation in Çukurova in the 1870s attracted the attention of foreign observers like Davis, who had expected to find only marshlands but in actuality observed drained fields of cotton. Two human networks had created this unique region of cotton cultivation: laborers and merchants. In 1906, the German Cotton Society of the Levant began operations under the patronage of the Deutsche Bank and Deutsche-Levante Line. Many German engineers, merchants, wholesalers, and industrialists came to work and reside in Mersin in connection with the organization of this commercial activity. The central state was unable to take a serious part in the mechanization of agriculture in Çukurova. Clearly, the landholders of Çukurova had adapted remarkably to modern implements by the end of the first decade of the 20th century. The industrial development of Çukurova was just as remarkable as the agricultural development, if not more.

Keywords: Çukurova; agricultural development; cotton cultivation; industrialists; landholders



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