This study used both analytical hierarchy process (AHP) and geographic information systems (GIS) to make a land-use suitability analysis for the village of Dumrek, NW Turkey. Primarily, alternative land uses for agriculture, meadow-pasture and forest were determined along with criteria for these alternatives and a hierarchical structure was produced and used to determine the weights of the criteria. Spatial data were identified by means of GIS and calculations were made using the suitability values specified and weights obtained from AHP. Suitability maps were then produced for the above land use alternatives. Subsequently, a synthesized suitability map was formed from these maps. According to the weights specified by AHP, the order of land use preferences among the alternatives for rural development of Dumrek was agriculture, forest and meadow. The synthesized suitability map showed that the areas allocated for forest and agriculture were close to the present ratios of use; however, meadow land, which does not exist at present, should be allocated as a land use to constitute 12.5% of the study area. Achieving sustainability in land use is possible by planners and administrators considering results obtained from land suitability mapping studies at the stage of allocating land uses. The method applied in this research is considered useful when taking policy decisions covering the evaluation of rural land use, particularly for subunits of the state administration.