Salda Lake National Park – “Salda Gölü Millet Bahçesi” idea and reason of realisation
The Salda lake region was visited in 2019 from about 4 million guests, an immense amount if we think that three villages Yeşilova, Salda and Doğanbaba in the surroundings of Salda Lake count together less than 10’000 inhabitants. As a result, the government has decided to plan the tourist rush better. During the last years, the place wasn’t prepared for such a big national and furthermore increasing international interest of the Salda lake. Enlarging the protective zone to 295 km² all around the Salda lake (there of 44 km² water surface) and with the Salda Lake National Park “Salda Gölü Millet Bahçesi” could be an appropriate solution of this problem. Already in 1989 the area was explained to a nature protection zone of 1st degree and three years later in 1992 a nature protection zone of 2nd degree (by these special conservation areas is a building boom strongly limited in close vicinity to the lake). The project should allow camping places, bungalows, cycle tracks, footpaths, better access routes, cafeterias and other activity possibilities. Also all other what belongs to a proper infrastructure like restrooms, shower cabinets and rubbish bins which are particularly criticised because of insufficient facilities at the moment. In addition, public parking spaces should be established outside the lakefront.Nevertheless, the construction of the bungalows, tents and camping places is not sure yet and one of the most argumentative aspects of the project. Therefore, it’s not known yet whether the natural white beach should enjoy a special protection zone to preserve the unique beauty of the white sand.
Approximately 500 local jobs will be created by the construction of the Salda Lake National Park that should strongly force the economy and contribute positively to the development of the region. To the project managers it is above all also important to protect the natural miracle Salda lake and the region – this is one of the highest priorities of the project. The ecosystem shouldn’t be endangered at all by the project and flora and fauna should be protected in any case. In high season especially during summer months the region is visited daily by approx. 50’000 travellers. Due to a high demand of visiting Salda lake in the last years, the tourism sector couldn’t cope with so many visitors. At the moment there is a lack of lodgings and toilets, why a suitable infrastructure with the project is a possibility to handle all present challenges. That’s why Salda Lake National Park “Salda Gölü Millet Bahçesi” should flourish not only the economy in the region, but also should ensure clean surroundings and adopt nature protection measures.
Minister of environment and urbanization Murat Kurum emphasizes that with building Salda Lake National Park it will not be allowed to construct buildings all around Salda lake. And also representative of the AKP Bayram Özcelik is confident and believes that soon all pictures of dirty beaches disappear as soon as the project is realised. He underscores that with constructing the national park that sustainable use with respect to nature and resources will be the right concept and not overexploitation. Similar opinion shares Adnan Yilmaztürk, regional manager for nature conservation and national parks: „This investment in this region takes also environmental aspects into account without fearing consequential damages. If we can form the region for travellers more attractively by improving basic needs of humans, Salda lake could be an attractive location for tourists and has a high chance of offering an unforgettable stay. For this purpose, a comprehensive project with look at every detail should be carried out. By this project Salda lake has the potential to climb up to a global brand.“
Salda Lake Nationalpark Project
In the end of 2019 the building project was written out for the national park construction on which 7 companies have applied. The approximate costs for the project should reach about 24.2 million TL, however the enterprise with the lowest offer has required 14.7 million TL. The following enterprises have delivered an offer:
|1. Egecan Akaryakit+Binko Insaat||14’699’000|
|2. Kardes Mühendislik||15’830’061|
|3. Biroglu Insaat||16’850’000|
|4. Güngör Tarim Insaat||21’770’000|
|5. Enam Insaat + Izbay Insaat||21’956’000|
|6. Tank Yapi + Ogulhan Insaat||24’340’000|
|7. Mim Dogal Kaynaklar||32’000’000|
The enterprise Enam Insaat has won the project for itself. Till present lawsuits were fruitless and therefore the national park in Salda will be accomplished with high likelihood up to year 2023.
A petition was submitted by some organizations to prevent the construction of Salda Lake National Park. The opponents fear exactly the opposite from what the proponents advertise. They predict that Salda Lake National Park would damage the nature and the ecosystem. High number of visitors and the hype of media and social platforms led Salda lake to a popular destination for many tourists during the past years. White sand became quite light grey at some places because of the big number of people who step in it. Unfortunately, there are also some travellers who walk with shoes on the white sand what reinforces soiling and should be avoided unquestionably. Another phenomenon is the regression of water surface, by cause of global warming what scientist assuming. The water surface all around the Salda lake was 20 years ago approximately 30 metres further and very close to the present street encircling Salda lake. As a result of water surface becoming smaller and smaller and the higher amount of guests who are enjoying vacations at Salda lake, the lake is a multiple time faster stained than 10 years ago. Recovery in off-season could be very difficult therefore. Hence, the soiling of the glittering, white sand as well as the clean water is endangered and should be protected at all costs. Most inhabitants and offices all around Salda lake are sharing are the same opinion and worry about an ecological massacre by realizing this project that will attract countless guests. As an example they point out the fate of Uzungöl close to Trabzon, which has fallen to victim of human greed by strong environmental pollution and uncontrolled building.
Local residents have already collected more than 100’000 signatures against the creation of Salda Lake National Park with the label “saldayadokunma” or in English “Don’t touch Salda”. The complaint against the construction was rejected in November 2019, however the opponents will probably dispute and initiate other juridical steps.
Saldatravel is confident whether the national park is built or not: People should be held responsible for their own actions and pollutions. It starts with everyone self and this is an objective of Saldatravel to support the beauty of Salda lake. Here are some examples what shouldn’t be done, however this list is not final and we ask everybody to act with respect to the environment. Moreover, some of these violations are finable:
Let us all protect our Salda lake environment to hand over a present of the nature to our next generations with good conscience. Saldatravel contributes yearly with its social project to the protection of the Salda lake, while they drive with a group of voluntaries around the lake and collect all rubbish.
Result of Salda Lake National Park project “Salda Gölü Millet Bahçesi” summarised:
|Protection zone preserves the environment.||With inappropriate implementation of the project, contanimation could not be stopped.|
|Economy of the region will boom.|
|Salda lake will rise up to a global brand.|
|Salda Lake National Park becomes a tourist attraction with many different activity possibilities to offer unforgettable holidays.|
|Saldatravel supports the pollution control with social projects.|