Lake Van, Turkey’s largest soda lake, faces the risk of pollution and drought. prof. Dr. Faruk Alaeddinoğlu draws attention to the fact that Lake Van is rapidly polluted due to waste water, and emphasizes that people move away from the lake as the lake becomes polluted.
The scarcity of rainfall in recent years has caused the water of Lake Van to be withdrawn by meters. With the withdrawal of the water, bad odors started to rise, especially from the areas close to the settlements. After the rains during the year, the swamp and mud left at the point where the water recedes begin to dry and stink with the temperatures. The fact that the garbage carried by the rivers reaches the lake makes it impossible to spend time on the lake shore.
Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Faculty Member Prof. Dr. Faruk Alaeddinoğlu emphasizes that it is possible to prevent the pollution in Lake Van. Aleaddinoğlu lists his solution suggestions as follows: “First of all, cities should not throw their wastes and residues into the lake, they should be treated. For this, they need to invest. You have such an inland lake, it is a treasure, a very important value indeed. It should not be polluted, it should be kept alive. The way to keep it alive is to build facilities where you can treat the waste of as many people as they live.”
‘Intervention in the ecosystem creates havoc’
Alaeddinoğlu says that the whole world is warming up, the water level in lakes and streams in different parts of the world has decreased and some of them even dried up. Stating that lakes have their own ecosystems, Aleaddinoğlu emphasizes that as long as there is an intervention in that ecosystem, the destruction either by man or by nature itself, degrades the ecosystem. He states that the chemical and biological structure of the lake has changed and it has naturally become polluted with the drought and the subsequent shrinkage of the area. Aleaddinoğlu said, “Because not only people pollute lakes, but also inland waters and streams. Nature itself pollutes. Therefore, these reductions bring about pollution.”
Aleaddinoğlu considers the rise and recession of inland lakes as a disadvantage during the year. Adding, “The level rises in rainy seasons and decreases in dry seasons”, Aleaddinoğlu explains the results of this as follows: “When the level drops, the swamp left at the point where it withdrew starts to dry and stink with the temperatures. Undoubtedly, this smell also causes a disturbing effect on the environment.”
‘Pollution prevents people from contacting the lake’
Stating that the resulting pollution prevents people from contacting the lake, Aleaddinoğlu says, “Actually, in the past, the people of Van, especially the people living in the city, did not have a relationship with the lake, because they could not go very far, perhaps because they could not see those beautiful and wonderful beaches.”
He states that because the swamps and swamps next to the city are filled with the waste of the city, when they go to the lake, they keep their distance and stay away from the lake because they encounter a bad smell. Aleaddinoğlu said, “This retreat in the lake, especially due to drought, the level difference naturally causes a smell on the shores. But where does this mostly happen; happens in urban areas. Occurs where streams flow into lakes. Because those places carry waste residues, waste residues of all the villages through which the rivers pass. Environmental pollutants of human origin naturally discharge into the lake. It also causes an odor in the place where it empties into the lake,” he says.
‘The emitted smell starts to drive people away’
Stating that the level difference turns into slime, Aleaddinoğlu emphasizes that due to the micro-structure in the slime, it starts to smell with heat and drives people away. He says that’s why people don’t want to meet the lake there and they run away from the lake. Stating that it is possible to prevent this pollution, he underlines that first of all, the wastes and residues of the cities should not be thrown into the lake and the lake should be purified. Aleaddinoğlu states that investment should be made for this as well. Saying that Lake Van is a treasure and very important, Aleaddinoğlu emphasizes that the lake should not be polluted and should be kept alive.
Nothing that there is a way to keep Lake Van alive, Aleaddinoğlu said, “To build facilities where you can treat the waste of as many people as there are people. There are also measures for the waste carried by the rivers, there are measures for this in the world. It is necessary to prevent them from reaching the lake with battlements and other measures.”
‘If we can protect Lake Van, we can turn into a tourism center’
Aleaddinoğlu states that if Van Lake can be protected and not polluted in the process experienced with climate change, it can turn into a very important tourism center in the near future. Aleaddinoğlu also says that there is a potential for both winter and sea tourism in Van, and that there is history and culture at the edge of Lake Van.
Stating that the change in lake levels will continue as long as the drought in the world continues, Aleaddinoğlu said, “I am saying for the Van Lake Basin in the winter months this year, the rainfall was seen as a salvation, of course not. Those rains don’t make much sense. Why doesn’t it make sense; When we look at it, there has not been much extra precipitation over very long annual periods,” he emphasizes.
‘Coasts should be open to everyone’
Stating that it is necessary to look mainly at the temperature and drought, Aleaddinoğlu states that as long as evaporation is more than precipitation, wetlands and lakes will lose water. Underlining that this situation cannot be prevented, Aleaddinoğlu emphasizes that the level in Lake Van may decrease, there may be withdrawals, but it is not possible to disappear. He explains this reason as follows: “Because it is a very wide and deep area. But it is possible to get dirty, we need to prevent it. It is necessary to open the coasts to everyone’s use and to control and plan, especially the second residences, while opening this. Random construction should not be allowed,” he says.
Camera/Mount: Dildar Guler-Baris Aslan
Translator :Akif Coşkun
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