Lake Van is Dying, Say Scientists

Akhtamar Church on island of Akhtamar in Lake Van

VAN (Combined Sources)–Scientists in Turkey have warned that Lake Van in the southeastern part of the country will disappear in the next 10-15 years if no radical measures are applied to save it. Lake Van is regarded the fifth biggest lake in Europe.
Lake Van, in the historic Armenian province of Vaspurakan, is the cradle of Armenian civilization and has been the capital of various Armenian Kingdoms throughout history. It is regarded as the fifth largest lake in Europe.
The warning came from the Turkish Marine Environment Protection Association (TURMEPA).
"According to expert reports… Lake Van will become a source of pollution and will not be suitable to swim in," said TURMEPA Chairman Esref Cerrahoglu. "Taking some urgent measures could save the lake, which is an example of the very significant, historic and ecological richness of the region. This is why we are also working for Lake Van as well as our coastlines."
TURMEPA said its goal is to preserve the lake for coming generations. It will organize special lectures for over 105,000 school and university students and organize extensive clean-ups of the lake’s shores.
As part of a project called "Limitless Blue," for the last two years TURMEPA has been giving courses on the protection of the seas to primary school students living on the coastlines. There were 105,000 students from Van who participated in one of the courses last week, the Turkish Daily News reported.
TURMEPA currently works to safeguard a coastline of 8,333 kilometer from Hopa to Iskenderun


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