The Largest Natural Lakes In Turkey

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Akdamar Island in Lake Van.
The Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Akdamar Island in Lake Van.

Turkey is a beautiful country with a host of natural wonders and cultural attractions. The country also has several large and small lakes that enhance the beauty of its natural landscapes. While most lakes in the country are freshwater lakes, there are some salt lakes too. In fact, two of the biggest lakes in the country are saltwater lakes. Below is a list of the largest lakes in Turkey.

The Five Biggest Lakes In Turkey

1. Lake Van

Covering a massive area of 3755 square km in the Turkish provinces of Van and Bitlis, Lake Van is the largest lake in the country. It is a saline soda lake with an endorheic drainage system. It is one of the most saline bodies of water in the world. The lake is fed by numerous streams but lacks an outlet. Most of the water is lost through evaporation. It did have an outlet in the ancient times but it was blocked by debris from a volcanic eruption. Lake Van is located at a high altitude of 5,380 feet. Despite the harsh winter conditions in the area, the high salinity levels in the lake prevent it from freezing. The lake is quite deep with a maximum depth of 1,480 feet.

2. Lake Tuz

Lake Tuz is Turkey’s second biggest lake. It encompasses an area of about 1500 square km in a tectonic depression in the Central Anatolia Region. Lake Tuz is one of the world’s largest hypersaline lakes. It is fed by two streams but has no outlet. It is extremely shallow for most of the year. It has an average depth of 2 feet and a maximum depth of 5 feet. The Lake supports salt mining activities. 63% of the salt consumed in Turkey comes from this lake. The lake has many islands with some of them serving as the breeding grounds of the greater flamingo. Many other wading birds are found in the area.

3. Lake Beyşehir

With a surface area of 656 square km, Lake Beyşehir is the third largest lake in Turkey. It is located in the Konya province in the southwestern part of Turkey. Lake Beyşehir is fed by several streams and rivers flowing down the nearby Sultan and Anamas Mountains. The water level of the lake fluctuates significantly seasonally. The water supports aquaculture and irrigation of surrounding crop fields. The lake also attracts many species of birds. A large part of the lake and its surroundings are protected as the Lake Beyşehir National Park.

4. Lake Eğirdir

Turkey’s fourth largest lake, Eğirdir, covers an area of 482 square km. It is located 186 km north of Antalya in the Turkish Lakes Region. There are two islands in the lake which are connected to the mainland by a causeway.

5. Lake Iznik

Lake Iznik covers an area of 308 square km in the Bursa Province of Turkey. Several cultural and historical sites are located around the lake. It is also an Important Bird Area as designated by BirdLife International in 1989.

The Largest Natural Lakes In Turkey

RankName in EnglishName in TurkishArea (km2)
1Lake VanVan Gölü3755 km2
2Lake TuzTuz Gölü1500 km2
3Lake BeyşehirBeyşehir Gölü656 km2
4Lake EğirdirEğirdir Gölü482 km2
5Lake İznikİznik Gölü308 km2
6Lake BurdurBurdur Gölü200 km2
7Lake ManyasManyas Gölü166 km2
8Lake AcıgölAcıgöl153 km2
9Lake UluabatUluabat Gölü134 km2
10Lake ÇıldırÇıldır Gölü115 km2

More in World Facts