Hatay is Turkey’s seventh most densely populated province, and is located in the southern part of the country. The proximity of Hatay Province to the Syrian border has had a strong influence on population development in recent years, leading to a sharp increase in the number of inhabitants, particularly in border municipalities. The rapidly increasing population places a burden on the Hatay’s economy which largely depends on agriculture. The SiEUGreen will support Hatay to access to new UA-related technology and knowledge, with the aim of creating job opportunities, increasing food production and resource efficiency. The SiEUGreen project will support two projects within Hatay Province - the construction of a greenhouse city center (Turunclu), as a demo and pilot case; and the ‘Women’s Cooperative’ (Ureten Eller) initiative.
The progress of this showcase during this period has been significant, important decisions have been taken and the installation had quick progress. The Hatay Showroom greenhouse was planned to be built in the production greenhouses in the Kisecik region of Hatay, where the Expo 2021is located. During the construction and infrastructure works of the Expo 2021, it was realized that these greenhouses were not suitable for any other service other than being a traditional plant production area. In addition, due to the ongoing EXPO construction and its remote location it has been determined that there will be difficulties in providing transportation and accessibility for Syrian refugees around this area. In order to prevent this from delaying and failing the purposes of the SiEUGreen project, it was decided to move the Hatay Showroom greenhouse on a municipal land, close to the city center (Turunclu). The new area is a destination that local community including Syrian refugees and students will not have any problems with transportation. Another feature of the area is, it functions as the area where plants and flowers used in the services of Hatay Municipality are stored. Also, there will be hobby gardens which will soon to be opened for the use of the local people and pet shelter facilities are together. It has visitors due to these facilities that make this area visible and attractive to the public.
Regarding the ‘Turunçlu Greenhouse’, its installation of a 1500 m2 greenhouse with a gothic roof started as of June 2020 and the installation of the greenhouse was completed quickly to avoid any delays and difficulties in the Project as of the end of Autumn 2020. The physical structure of this greenhouse is more suitable for plant breeding with aquaponics and hydroponic systems. The studies and technical details evaluation have been completed and both equipment for aquaponics and hydroponics have been delivered to the greenhouse. In addition, the infrastructure and construction work of the greenhouse have been completed. Concrete bed and isolation of biofilteration pools were carried out. The purchase of hydroponic equipment has been completed. Installation work has been initiated in order the hydroponic system to become operational and soon the test trials of the system will be launched in the coming periods. For the fish production with the aquaponics system, the showcase partners have been negotiating with the officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and the procedures for required permissions were initiated. Water analyzes and preliminary controls of the cultivation environment were carried out by the authorities. It was determined that there was no adverse situation.
Regarding the land levelling processes at the traditional greenhouses of Women’s Cooperative’, they have been completed. Based on a survey, it was decided that the most appropriate technique to use will be the soil-based plant growing one. As for the ‘Traditional Greenhouses’ demonstration, as expected the plants have been maintained but by fewer persons than before. There are a small number of Syrian refugee youth among the volunteer youth for now. It is planned to work on increasing the number of Syrian refugee youth and engage more immigrants and women. Hatay also plans to create a UA Learning center that exhibits different technologies for food cultivation. Municipality is in negotiations with the relevant academic institutions.