Lake Tuz, Turkey’s second largest, should be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
“Lake Tuz is also affected by climate change in the world. It is important to include Lake Tuz from the temporary list to the UNESCO World Heritage permanent list in order to make it well known and get it protected,” said Mustafa Dogan, Aksaray provincial head of the Culture and Tourism Ministry.
The Lake Tuz protected area is within the borders of three provinces namely Ankara, Konya, and Aksaray.
Located some 150 kilometers (93 miles) from the capital Ankara, the lake spans 1,665 square km (643 square miles) and is one of the largest hypersaline lakes in the world.
The lake was accepted into UNESCO tentative list in 2013.
Dogan said Lake Tuz is also a “bird sanctuary” since it hosts flamingos and owls, adding: “The lake is a stopover point for migratory birds.”
He added the lake recently draws interests of visitors due to its touristic characteristics.
After its ice-blue hue during the winter, the lake changes color in summer to a mixture of red and white due to a type of algae called dunaliella salina.
“Lake Tuz is one of the most important salt production areas of our country and the world,” Dogan said.
According to the UNESCO, the surface of the edges of the lake looks like an empty planet in which many visitors can perceive some oasis on the horizon.