IP- Shepherd İbrahim Koç recalls his youth with fondness as he grazes cattle on a barren field that was once lush with vegetation on the edge of Turkiye’s largest lake.

Iran PressAsia: An occasional shrub marks the spots from where Lake Van has retreated over years of global heating and drought.

“The animals are thirsty,” the 65-year-old lamented.

“There is no water,” Koç said, echoing sentiments expressed by a growing number of Turks who have watched their mountains lose ice caps and their water reservoirs dry up.

A weather map of Turkiye — an agricultural superpower stretching from Bulgaria in the west to Iran in the east — shows much of the country suffering from a prolonged drought.

Shrinking shorelines are exposing lakebeds that pollute the air with a salty dust. Scientists fear the problems could grow only worse.

“I think these are our good days,” Faruk Alaeddinoğlu, a professor at Van Yüzüncü Yıl University, told AFP.

“We will witness the lake continuing to shrink in the coming years.”

Lake Van covers approximately 3,700 square kilometers (1,400 square miles), reaching a maximum depth of 450 meters (1,475 feet).

Its surface area has shrunk by around 1.5 percent in recent years, according to measurements Alaeddinoğlu carried out last autumn.

“That is a terribly large amount of water for a 3,700 square kilometer area,” he said.


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