Turkey at a glance

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80.7 million1

Gross Domestic Product (USD)

851.1 billion1

Agriculture (% of GDP)


Total land area (1,000 ha)


Cultivated land (1,000 ha)


Banana production area

6,225 hectares (in 2016)3

Total banana production
305,926 metric tonnes (in 2016)3

Turkey has been producing bananas since the first half of the 20th century, even though the country lies outside the tropical and subtropical climate zones. Bananas are grown along the Mediterranean coast, protected by the Taurus mountains. They were grown exclusively in open fields until the 1990s, after which cultivation under protection was introduced. The majority of the bananas are now grown in plastic-covered greenhouses.

The banana is a desirable crop because it can be harvested within a year of planting and the retail price is high because of import taxes of more than 140% 4 . The demand for bananas has steadily increased over the years. In 2016 it was 521,000 tonnes,  217,000 of which were imported4 .

Banana-growing regions

Bananas are grown in four provinces along the southern coast of Turkey. The main banana-growing regions are the towns of Alanya and Gazipa?a in Antalya Province, and of Anamur and Bozyazi in Mersin Province.

Other towns have also taken up the cultivation of bananas; Kumluca, Finike and Manavgat (Antalya Province), Erdemli (Mersin Province), Yumurtalik (Adana Province) and Iskenderun (Hatay Province)4 .

Production systems

Bananas are cultivated in open fields, on flat land as well as steep slopes, or protected in plastic-covered and metal-framed greenhouses. Pests and pathogens are generally not a problem. The most common pest is nematodes. Spider mites (Tetranychus lambi) can affect bananas grown in greenhouses.

The main differences between the two cultivation systems are the yield and the number of days from shooting to harvest. In a study comparing 'Dwarf Cavendish' growing in open fields and in greenhouses conducted in Alanya, the average bunch weight was 27 kg and 40 kg respectively5 . The average time from shooting to harvest was 153 days in open fields, compared to 128 days in greenhouses. The authors attributed the results to the higher temperature and relative humidity in the greehouses, as well as the absense of wind. In the open fields, the mean yearly minimum and maximum temperature and relative humidity were 16 and 26°C and 47 and 82%, compared to 15 and 33°C and 54 and 88% in the greenhouses.

In summer, shading powder is applied on the plastic of the greenhouses to protect the plants and fruits from sunburn damage. Since the greenhouses are generally not heated, significant fluctuations in temperature between day and night in winter can negatively affect the plants.

  Open fields Greenhouses
Planting time March Feb-March and September
Planting material Suckers Tissue-culture plantlets
Planting density 2,000 plants/ha 1,850 plants/ha
Harvest time November-March October-January


'Dwarf Cavendish' is the most common cultivar grown in open fields, whereas 'Grande Naine' and 'Azman' are the most common ones grown in greenhouses. 'Dwarf Cavendish' is grown because of its tolerance to cold and wind damage6 . The plants of 'Azman', on the other hand, grow taller and produce larger bunches.

The agronomic performance of a number of Cavendish cultivars was evaluated in open fields and greenhouses7 . ‘Williams’ and ‘Grande Naine’ were superior to ‘Dwarf Cavendish’ in greenhouses, whereas ‘Petite Naine’ and ‘Basrai’ were superior to ‘Dwarf Cavendish’ in open fields. ‘Poyo’ was too tall for greenhouses and too sensitive to wind damage in open fields.

Cultural practices

There are two planting seasons under protected cultivation, compared to one in open fields. The first ratoon crop is not very productive in open fields. Plant spacing in open fields is 2.5mx2m, compared to 3mx1.8m in greenhouses8 .  However, after the second ratoon crop, plant density is increased to 2,100 or 2,200 plants/ha in both cultivation systems.

Goat manure is applied (20 to 40 kg/year/plant). The main fertilizers are nitrogen, phosporus and potassium.

A drip irrigation system is used in both cases. An extra fine droplet sprinkler is installed in the greenhouses to increase humidity.

Whereas removing the male bud is a common practice in many banana-growing countries, farmers in Turkey are divided on whether it improves yield and fruit quality. A study conducted in 2013-14 in Gazipasa, province of Antalya, showed a reduction in the number of days for fruit filling and an increase in bunch weight9 .

Banana production

In 2016, 305,926 tonnes of bananas were produced over 6,225 hectares, up from 35,000 tonnes over 1,309 hectares in 19914 .  More than 80% of the bananas are produced under protected cultivation4


Area of production (ha)

Production (tonnes)




































1 2017 data from the World Bank
2 2015 data from FAOSTAT - Land use
4 H. Gubbuck, L. Altinkaya and E. Balkiç. 2017. Banana: a very profitable tropical crop in Turkey. Chronica Horticulturae 57(2): 20-25.
5 Gubbuk, H., Gunes, E. and Guven, D.. 2018. Comparison of open-field and protected banana cultivation for some morphological and yield features under subtropical conditions. p.173-178. In: Van den Bergh, I., Risède, J.M. and Johnson, V. (eds.). Proceedings of X International Symposium on Banana: ISHS - ProMusa Symposium on Agroecological Approaches to Promote Innovative Banana Production Systems - Montpellier, France, 10-14 October 2016. Acta Horticulturae 1196. ISHS, Leuven, Belgium.
6 Altinkaya, L., Balkic, R. and Gubbuk, H.. 2016. Greenhouse cultivation of banana: very favorable crop in Turkey. p.487-490. In: Proceedings of III Balkan Symposium on Fruit Growing, Belgrade, Serbia. Acta Horticulturae 1139. ISHS, Leuven, Belgium.
7 Gubbuk, H., Pekmezci, M. and Erkan, M. 2004. Production potential of Cavendish cultivars (Musa spp. AAA) under greenhouse and field conditions in subtropical areas of Turkey. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, B 54(4):249-253.
8 Gubbuk, H. and Pekmezci, M. 2004. Comparison of open-field and protected cultivation of banana (Musa spp. AAA) in the coastal area of Turkey. New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science 32(4):375-378.
9 Balkic, R., Gunes, E., Altinkaya, L. and Gubbuk, H.. 2016. Effect of male bud flower removal on yield and quality of 'Dwarf Cavendish' banana. p.587-590. In: Proceedings of III Balkan Symposium on Fruit Growing -Belgrade, Serbia -. Acta Horticulturae 1139. ISHS, Leuven, Belgium.
Photos from the field trip to Alanya, Antalanya province, that was organized as part of the 2018 ISHS-ProMusa symposium: