Traditionally, highlands in Turkey have been used mainly for transhumance, a pastoral system based on seasonal transfer of livestock herds to and from uplands. The back-to-nature trend in the 1990s led to a rediscovery of the highlands by non-rural populations, a trend that is threatening to destroy both natural and cultural resources in mountains. The Ministry of Tourism, inspired by the concept of ecotourism, announced in the 1990s that it would open the highlands of the East Black Sea region to development, as this region's share of overall tourism income was negligible, and classified various highlands located there and in other regions as “tourism centers.” Infrastructure investments which the Government tried to introduce in the highlands, combined with uncontrolled demand, has led to unplanned development with negative impacts. The factors that threaten both the highlands and transhumance in the Mediterranean, Central Anatolian and Black Sea regions can be divided into 4 categories: unplanned infrastructure investments, mass tourism-oriented development, construction of second homes, and traditional festivals that are losing their substance.
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