Swimming prohibited on iconic lake’s white beach till Oct 15

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Swimming activities in the White Islands area of Lake Salda, which comes under the Special Environmental Protection Area (SEPA), will be banned starting from Oct. 15, Turkey’s Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum has said.

Noting that efforts are being made to keep the lake beautiful and to live for generation, Kurum said that the ecosystem and water quality in the region were constantly being monitored.

Kurum reminded that the size of the protected area around the lake was increased seven times with the declaration of SEPA.

Located in Burdur’s Yeşilova district, a 295-kilometer area around the lake was declared SEPA in 2019.

The lake is symbolized as “Turkey’s Maldives,” thanks to its pearl-white sandy beaches.

Talking about the measures taken to protect the lake that included banning construction and parking of cars, Kurum said, “We demolished the illegal buildings in the region and created areas consisting of natural materials that our citizens can use to meet their basic needs.”

“With the 24-hour active camera system, we took the region into the protection circle and enabled our citizens to follow it instantly from the internet,” Kurum noted.

Kurum said that they implemented the recommendations of the Board of Environment and Natural Heritage, which consisted of academics and representatives of non-governmental organizations, for the protection of the lake.

He underlined that due to the increase in the number of visitors, the White Islands area where the white beach of the lake lies got severely damaged.

“The White Islands area is the incubation center of biological materials that host endemic species and give the lake its color. With the decision that we took in line with scientific research and reports, we prevent these materials from being crushed and reduced,” Kurum said.

“Accordingly, to swim in the White Islands area and the beach will not be permitted as of Oct. 15,” he added.

Reminiscent of the Maldives, Lake Salda is also one of the two places on Earth with similarities to Mars’ surface.

Hurriyet Daily News

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