Leila M. Harris Introduction The Turkish state-led Southeastern Anatolia project (Güneydoğu Anadolu ProjesiGAP) is described by planners as an ‘integrated regional development program’, aiming to improve the economic base of one of the least developed regions of the country, improve education levels and the status of women, and to foster democracy in a region that is often described as having few examples of horizontal associations or non-governmental organizations (see Harris, 2002, and Çarkoğlu and Eder, this volume). The concern of this chapter is to consider the potential attributed to the recently established water user groups in newly irrigated areas covered by the project.1 Perhaps mirroring the ambitious aims of the GAP project as a whole, state planners expect that water user groups will serve a diverse set of goals, from realizing efficiencies with respect to expenditures and irrigation delivery, to promoting sustainability of irrigation resources over time, to fostering closer state-society linkages by providing institutional bridges between farmers and state agencies.