Hüsnü M. Özyeğin Foundation has regarded poverty alleviation and social improvement as a crucial component of its social investments and concentrated the majority of its programs and services in the underprivileged regions of Turkey. A small-scale rural development project supported in Eğil, Diyarbakır, motivated the Özyeğin family to consider rural development in a broader context and after an intensive period of research launched a comprehensive rural development program in Turkey in 2008.
The poorest populations in Turkey live in rural areas of the country. Nevertheless, NGOs working on rural poverty are still very few. Despite having had development projects and experiences for decades in Turkey, successful and sustainable models of development are not well-known or widespread.
Before the official launch of its program, Ozyegin Foundation conducted a comprehensive research study to create the Ozyegin Foundation Rural Development Strategy. The Foundation works in two impoverished regions; the Kavar Basin of Tatvan, Bitlis, serving 6 villages, 5 hamlets and 1,800 people since 2008 and the Ravanda Basin of Kilis serving 8 villages with 1,500 inhabitants since 2011.