The largest body of water in Turkey and the second largest in the Middle East is Van Lake, also known as Van Gölü. The lake is situated in eastern Anatolia, close to the Iranian border. At its widest point, it is more than 74 miles (119 km) across and has a surface area of 1,434 square miles (3,713 square kilometres). The modern Turkish name of the lake, Van Gölü, is derived from Van, or Chauon, the name of the capital of the Urartian kingdom, which flourished on the lake’s eastern shore between the tenth and eighth centuries BC. The ancient Greek geographers referred to the lake as Thospitis Lacus, or Arsissa Lacus.
The largest alkaline lake in the world and Turkey, with a surface area of over 12,000 square kilometres and a depth of 150 metres, with several small rivers flowing towards it from nearby locations, is what the people of Van refer to as their lake because of its enormity.
The lake was created by the volcanic eruption of the Nimrud Mountain, and it is home to the extremely rare Inci Kafali fish species, which migrates in search of freshwater in the first week of May since its eggs cannot survive in alkaline or salt water.
They appear to be dancing as they swim against the current to reach the Deli River where it meets Van Lake; in honour of this, a celebration is held nearby every June.
Van Lake, which lies 5 km east of Van, is bordered to the north and west by volcanic mountains. Studies done in the lake’s waters have shown that the water kills microorganisms, is helpful in the treatment of various diseases, and speeds up the healing of wounds in persons who swim in the lake’s waters as well as the removal of dandruff.
It has been established through the most recent study conducted by a team of scientists from Istanbul University that the water from Van Lake is effective in treating conditions like asthma and chronic lung ailments.
According to experts, individuals with lung diseases considerably benefit from the lake’s water when the sun is at a 45-degree angle and falling on it.
The ships are used to ferry travellers to and from the islands as well as between Van and Tatvan.
Van Lake offers a lovely view and is well known for its port, bay, coast, and semi-islands. Because of its salinity and gaseous waters, locals used to refer to Van Lake as the “sea.” Tourists from the Van Province commonly travel to Akdamar Island, the largest island in Van.