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Lake Tuz (Turkish: Tuz Gölü meaning Salt Lake) is the third largest lake in Turkey and is located in the Central Anatolia Region, 105 km (65 mi) northeast of Konya and 150 km (93 mi) south-southeast of Ankara.

For most of the year, this very shallow (1-2 m, 3-7 ft) and saline lake has an area of 1,600 km2 (620 sq mi). It is normally 80 km (50 mi) long and 50 km (31 mi) wide at an elevation of 905 m (2,969 ft) above sea level. Its area is shared by the provinces of Ankara, Konya and Aksaray] holding a population of over 3 million people.

The lake, occupying a tectonic depression in the central plateau of Turkey, is fed by two major streams, groundwater, and surface water, but has no outlet. Brackish marshes have formed where channels and streams enter the lake. It is extremely saline and during the summer, most of the water in the lake dries up and exposes an average of 30 cm thick salt layer. During winter part of the salt is re-dissolved in the fresh water that is introduced to the lake by precipitation and surface runoff. This mechanism is used as a basis for the process of the salt mines in the lake. The three mines operating in the lake produce of the order of 70% of the salt consumed in Turkey. The salt mining generates industrial activity in the region, mainly related to salt processing and refining. Arable fields surround the lake, except in the south and southwest where extensive seasonally flooded salt-steppe occurs.

In 2001, Lake Tuz was declared a specially protected area, including all of the lake surface and surrounding waterbeds and some of the important neighboring steppe areas. The main Turkish breeding colony of Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is present on a group of islands in the southern part of the lake. Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) is the second largest breeder here. Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) is a common breeder in surrounding villages.

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Additional Photos by adnan gulberk (agulberk) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 590 W: 71 N: 618] (3794)
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