A field of water lilies that cover an area of approximately 8,000 square meters (86,111 square feet) on Lake Beyşehir in Konya, in the midst of central Anatolia, has been attracting many photographers and travelers, pandemic or not.
To top it off, the water lilies are surrounded by picturesque views of the natural landscape, from the Taurus Mountains to their south and west, the volcanic Mount Erenler to their east and Mount Anamas and the Sultan Mountains to their west. There are also three beaches around Lake Beyşehir spanning approximately 656 square kilometers (253 square miles), where fishermen go about their day, patiently waiting for the catch of the day.
At sunrise, the water lilies blooming on Lake Beyşehir's waters rise to the surface and disappear underwater in the afternoon, making them all the more fascinating for visitors.
Many local fishermen provide transportation to the area via their fishing boats. Ibrahim Erdoğan, a local fisherman at the lake and also the manager of the Beyşehir Photography Club, told Demirören News Agency (DHA): "This is my childhood home. It offers a scenic floral view that lasts three to four months a year, between May and August when they reach full bloom. We always come across this view while fishing and (are lucky to) have the opportunity to watch it.”
“We visited this place as a photography club and tourism association with a few friends. We photographed this place and shared our images on social media,” Erdoğan said.
“Fascinated by my photographs, fellow photographers, nature enthusiasts and tourists wanted to see the flowers (in person), and we tried to help as much as we could, by offering our fishing boats. They took photographs and were very impressed and satisfied,” he said.
Describing the lake and its surrounding as a beautiful place with countless natural wonders, Erdoğan said for many fishermen the sights is nothing but ordinary because they see it every day. Only when an outside eye, a newcomer mentions just how beautiful it is that they realize it is truly a natural wonder, a beautiful visual feast that needs to be protected.
“As the Beyşehir Photography Club, we organize photography tours here. We are trying to introduce more people to this place. We are trying to advertise this area by taking photographs and opening exhibitions. I hope my childhood dreams about this water lily garden become a reality with the initiatives made at the national parks,” Erdoğan said.
"The only problem with this place is that we need fishing boats to reach the scenic area; however, it will be easier to reach thanks to plans in the making for a walking trail and a viewing balcony," he said.
Flower pickers beware
The water lilies are under conservatory protection in Lake Beyşehir. Therefore, any act of destruction or plucking of the lilies will be penalized by a fine of TL 73,000 ($9,920) – an expensive mistake, indeed.
Beyşehir Culture and Tourism Association President Mustafa Büyükkafalı said: "There are three types of water lilies, the white and yellow ones, which are common in general. The flower is a beauty that is forbidden to pluck and is under preservation.”
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