International Symposium on Enhancing Economic and Environmental Sustainability of Fruit Production in a Global Economy held at the 27th International Horticultural Congress, Seoul, South Korea, 13 - 19 August 2006, pp.503-506
Fruit growing has an ancient tradition in Turkey and many fruit crops have originated in this region. Thousands of years ago, wild fruit trees were found in or close to the natural forests. The local inhabitants took them under cultivation and variants of these species exist all over Anatolia. More than 77 fruit species are grown in the different geographical regions of Turkey and several fruit species have been domesticated, especially in the Black Sea forests and Southeast Anatolia. Traditional fruit and nut crops include pear, quince, plum, sweet and sour cherries, rose hip, hazelnut, pistachio nut, almond, walnut, chestnut, olive, fig, pomegranate and grape. Turkey is also the center of many wild fruit species that have potential for food and other uses such as Crataegus azarolus L., Rubus caesis L., Prunus lauricerasus L., Arbutus andrachna L., Elaeagnus orientalis L., Ceratonia siliqua L., Celtis austaralis L., Pistachia terebinthus L., Pistachia khinjuk Stocks, and Prunus mahalep L.
Different ecological conditions allow fruit species to be grown in different areas. Wide opportunity of fruit growing supplies a big variation all around the country. The conservation studies of fruit germplasm were started in 1964 with the collaboration of FAO. However, collection and adaptation studies of low chilling temperate zone fruit trees under subtropical conditions only began in the early 1980s.
The subtropical climate area is mainly located in the Mediterranean region. The east part of the region is called as Cukurova. In Cukurova, the climate is changing, but there is always a lack chilling for high chilling requiring fruit cultivars. Fruit growing should be done with low chill cultivars. Since 1990s low chilling peach and nectarine breeding and from 2001 low chilling cherry breeding have begun.