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Water Features

Water features constitute some of the most interesting and valuable geosites. These include a large of number of rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and mineral springs in Turkey, with numerous tourists visiting these natural attractions in Turkey every year (Table 6.3).

Table 6.3 Examples of important water features related to geotourism in Turkey

River

Region

Water features

Kizilirmak

Central Anatolia-Black

Sea

At 1355 km, Kizilirmak is the longest river in Turkey and crosses through various landscapes. The most interesting geographic features found along the Kizilirmak valley are the gypsum karst and the lakes formed on it in Sivas. Also, there is an important project related to the development of geotourism. Its name is Upper Kizilirmak Culture and Nature Way. It is possible to see many geosites on geotrails in this area (Akbulut and Unsal 2015). Bafra Delta, where the river empties into the Black Sea, has important landforms with environmental value

Ye^ilirmak

Black Sea

Ye^ilirmak rises from the slope of Kose mountain of Sivas city and is 519 km long. The most important geosite on this river is the North Anatolia Fault. The ?ar§amba Delta, which originates from the mouth of Ye^ilirmak, is also important

Firat

(Euphrates)

Eastern-Southeastern

Anatolia

Firat (Euphrates) is one of the longest rivers of the Middle East with a total length of 2800 km. The origin of the water resources is the Murat River (Diyadin-Agri) and the Karasu River (Dumludag- Erzurum). There are many natural and cultural tourist attractions along the river

Dicle

(Tigris)

Eastern-Southeastern

Anatolia

Dicle (Tigris) is 1900 km long and originates from an area south of Hazarbaba Mountain, near Elazig city. Dicle is an important river for Mesopotamia together with Firat (Euphrates) River. An avid geotourist can find many ravines, caves, magnificent landscapes, and a variety of plants and animals along the river

Aras

Eastern Anatolia

There are many natural and cultural attractions along the River Aras. One of them is the Ani ruins. At Lake Kuyucuk, tourists can watch rare species of birds

Gediz

Aegean (Western Anatolia)

Gediz River is the second longest river in the Aegean Basin (400 km). One of the important geosites is the Gediz Delta including a Ramsar wetland. This delta has a nature reserve that is a habitat for rare bird species

Asi

(Orontes)

Mediterranean

Asi (Orontes) River originates from springs near Labweh in Lebanon. The river flows from the south to the north and plunges southwest into a gorge in Turkey before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea south of the port of Samandagi. Asi River is on a historical road in the north-south direction. There is a historical port and city in Samandagi

Table 6.3 (continued)

River

Region

Water features

Seyhan— Ceyhan

Mediterranean

Seyhan River with 560 km length originates from the Uzunyayla Plateau in the Pinarba^i Province of Kayseri city and the Ceyhan River originates near Elbistan. The two rivers form the Qukurova Delta, which is the biggest delta in Turkey and has a few important lagoons with various migratory birds and different landforms

Lakes

Region

Water features

Lake Van

Eastern Anatolia

Lake Van is the biggest lake of Turkey with a surface of 3738 km2. Its maximum depth is 451 m, and it is a closed lake without any significant outflow in a tectonically active zone in eastern Anatolia (Degens et al. 1984; izbirak 1996). Despite the fact that the lake is situated at an altitude of 1640 m, the water never freezes due to the high concentration of salt. The most important attractions of the lake are Nemrut and SUphan volcanic mountains. Muradiye Waterfall, Akdamar, Qarpanak, and Yaka islands, and the wetlands are other tourism attractions (GurbUz 1997)

Lake Qildir

Eastern Anatolia

Lake Qildir is located between Kars and Ardahan cities at an altitude of 1950 m. This lake was formed by the collapse of mass between Kisir and Akbaba mountains. Lake Qildir has natural and cultural values. Because the water’s surface freezes in winter months, an ice festival is organized during this time with thousands of people visiting this lake.

Lake Tuz

Central Anatolia

Lake Tuz (1642 km2) is one of the biggest salt lakes in Turkey, although it is rather shallow, reaching only about 1.5 m in depth. Salt crystals cover parts of the lake. The dominant color of the lake is white, but some areas are pink because of algae. Lake Tuz is important in terms of ecology for local and migratory birds. At the same time, salt is an economic source for local people

Sivas Karstic Lakes

Central Anatolia

Many of these lakes are doline lakes interconnected via underground caves. There are over twenty lakes in the region with Lake Lota as a great example of a karstic lake (Akpinar and Akbulut 2007; Akbulut 2011). Another lake, Todurge, is the largest gypsum lake of Turkey with 3.3 km2 (Yazici and §ahin 1999)

Manyas

Marmara

Manyas (also known as Bird Lake) is a tectonic lake located in the Bandirma Province. The area of the lake is 162 km2 and its average depth is 3 m. This lake, found by Kurt Kossing in 1938 and declared a national park in 1958, is a very important site for water birds (Aring 2011)

Table 6.3 (continued)

Lakes

Region

Water features

Uzungol

Black sea

Uzungol is located south of Trabzon city. This lake is situated in an outstanding landscape between high mountainous areas and is surrounded by forest. Uzungol was formed by a landslide and is not deep (Akkan et al. 1993). Uzungol is known as one of the tourism heavens of Turkey with many hotels, restaurants, and guesthouses nearby. Therefore, the water of the lake is rather polluted (Yazici and Cin 1997)

Abant

Black sea

Abant is a lake in the Bolu Province and also formed by a landslide with an area of 1.28 km2. The vicinity of the lake is a natural park

Waterfalls

Region

Features

Erfelek

Waterfall

Black Sea

Erfelek Waterfall is located in Sinop Province and consists of 28 waterfalls arranged in the form of staircases (Uzun et al. 2005)

Tortum

Waterfall

Eastern Anatolia

Tortum Waterfall is located in Tortum district of Erzurum Province. The water cascades down over 48 m and a width of 22 m (Doganay 2001)

Lelef

(Kolgak)

Eastern Anatolia

Lelef (Kolgak) is in the Yazihan district of Malatya Province. The water falls in three steps. The height of upper step is about 15 m, the middle step is about 60 m, and the lower step is about 10 m. The waterfalls were formed as the result of tectonic movement

Muradiye

Eastern Anatolia

Muradiye Waterfall (18 m) is on Bendimahi stream in the Muradiye district. There are seven vertical drops flowing over young basalt lava (Doganay 2000). The region where this waterfall is located is not safe due to PKK terrorist threats

Sizir

Central Anatolia

Sizir Waterfall (on Goksu stream, a tributary of Kizilirmak) is located in the Sivas Province and approximately 22 m high divided into seven jumps (Karadeniz 2013). Sizir Waterfall has significant potential for growth in terms of geotourism. In the vicinity of the waterfall is a rural coffeehouse, a picnic area and a beautiful landscape (Doganay 2000, 2001)

Dйden

Mediterranean

Dhden Waterfall (18 m) is about 10 km northeast of Antalya city. There is a cave behind and the waterfall attracts many national and international visitors (Doganay and Zaman 2001). Two other important waterfalls are situated nearby: Kur^unlu and Manavgat. Both of them are recreation centers

Thermal

springs

Region

Features

Diyadin

Eastern Anatolia

Turkey hosts over 900 thermal and mineral spring waters in different locations, with temperatures between 20 and 102 °C (Akbulut 2010). One of them is Diyadin Spring, which is located in the Diyadin Province and has been used for medical purposes since antiquity. In the vicinity of the spring, there are travertine deposits, pools, and a river valley (Zaman et al. 2000; Qoban 2011), (Fig. 6.3)

Table 6.3 (continued)

Thermal

springs

Region

Features

Afyon

Central Anatolia

Afyon is located in the eastern part of the Aegean region. Thermal springs in this region have been known and used by people since the early ages (KiliQaslan and Aydinozu 2000). Today, Afyon spring attracts a great number of national and international visitors due to modern thermal centers

Sivas

Central Anatolia

Sivas is located in Central Anatolia. One of the thermal springs in Sivas, Fish Spring, has been used to treat psoriasis (Koksal 1994; Garipagaoglu 2002). There are hot spring, cold spring, Kalkim Spring, and Ortakoy Spring in Sivas

Yozgat

Central Anatolia

The main mineral springs in this province are Sarikaya, Sorgun, Saraykent, Bogazliyan, Akdagmadeni, and Yerkoy. Among these, Sarikaya, Sorgun, and Saraykent have thermal hotels (Bulut 1997)

Balikesir

Marmara

Balikesir is one of the most important provinces for mineral springs (Akbulut 2010).

A general view of Diyadin Spring (Agri). Photograph Aykut ?oban

Fig. 6.3 A general view of Diyadin Spring (Agri). Photograph Aykut ?oban

 
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