Lake Tuz – Salt Lake is in the Middle Anatolia region in the northeast of the lowest part of the land surrounded by Kizilirmak in the east, Obruk plateau in the south, Cihanbeyli plateau in the west and Haymana plateau in the north. It is the second biggest lake in Turkey after Lake Van. The lake, which is tectonic geologically, has a closed basin. Although it is the second biggest lake, it is very shallow. In most places it is not deeper than 0.5 meters. During the spring the months when water is ample, it gets as big as 164200 hectares. The area has the driest weather in Turkey, and because it does not often rain it is not rich in rivers. Water sources include the Baglica and Kirdelik streams from the south, Esmekaya spring. Insuyu stream from the west and Pecenek stream from east. However, almost all of these sources dry up before reaching the lake in the summer. Nearly the whole lake desiccates during the summer. Nearly the whole lake desiccates during the summer as a result of extreme evaporation. In dry parts, a layer of salt in 30-centimeter thick is formed. It is one of the saltiest lakes in the world, as well as in Turkey. The density of the water is 1225 g/cm3, and the percentage of salt in the water is 32.4%.
There is no vegetation in the lake as a result of the amount of the salt in the water. However, it is possible to see scant plants that are resistant to salt in the areas near the freshwater streams. Most of Turkey’s salt is obtained from here. It is one of the riches areas of Turkey in terms of the number of birds. The wide space that the lake takes up during the winter constitutes a vital winter shelter for water birds. The wide space that the takes up during the winter constitutes a vital winter shelter for water birds. There are also other marsh lands that are ecologically related to Lake Tuz such as Kulu Golu, Samsam Golu, Uyuz Golu, Kozanli Saz Golu, Boluk Golu, Tersakan Golu, Esmakaya Golu and the reservoir of the Hirfanli dam. These lakes that are very close to each other, and that they all have their own characteristics, constitute a marsh land complex that support a wide variety of wildlife with different habitat needs by feeding them and giving them a place to reproduce. This makes Lake Tuz very important. Around the lake, aside from the flamingos, avocets and angits that have adapted themselves to the salty waters, plovers, cranes, wild geese and wild ducks exist in large groups around the lake. Since the lake and the vicinity is relatively uninhabited, they can feed themselves easily and swim in the water of the lake, which does not freeze, even on the coldest days of the winter. Small islands in the lake create a very good sanctuary for birds, such as swamp swallow, drake, angit, kilicaga, camurcun, kocagoz and different types of seagylls, during the incubation period. Lake Tuz is the most important brooding area for flamingos in Turkey. There are colonies of birds in middle the lake with approximately 5000-6000 nests that are used during incubation period.