Turkey: thousands of flamingos dead – is the government to blame?

The Tuz Gölü is the second largest lake in Turkey and home to thousands of flamingos. But now masses of dead birds have been found in the dried up lake bed – animal rights activists blame agriculture for the mass deaths.

This salt lake impresses visitors and residents with its pink water color year after year. Due to algae and a certain bacterium, the lake shines again and again in a bright pink. The flamingos of the same color, which visit the large body of water every year to mate, complete the picture and ensure that the Tuz Gölü plays a major role in Turkey’s tourism.

Around 10,000 flamingo babies hatch there every year, and the government has given the lake special protection for several years. But this protection no longer seems to be sufficient: a drought completely dried up large parts of the lake. There are dead flamingos everywhere, including thousands of babies who have not yet been able to fly. The lake bed is like a huge cemetery, reports “ Reuters “.

Animal rights activists are calling for more nature conservation

The Turkish Environment Minister Bekir Pakdemirli announced that the massive deaths of the pink birds were solely due to the drought in the country. He speaks of 1,000 dead flamingos.

Animal rights activists, however, see it a little differently: On the one hand, they are calling for more environmental protection and stricter measures to slow down the effects of climate change.


On the other hand, they see part of the responsibility for the mass extinction of flamingos in agriculture – and thus in the government. A canal that previously supplied the lake with water was diverted by government orders and now supplies the farmers with water.

The irrigation of the farmers is completely wasteful and would take away the livelihoods of the flamingos in Tuz Gözül. Saving this year’s population of pink birds is no longer possible, say the animal rights activists.




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