Start point: Car Rental Dalyan Turkey--Lake Sulungur (5.56 km)
Created by: Turgay Uceren
Short description: This is a 5.56 km scooter route (Dalyan-Lake Sulungur) in Dalyan Turkey. The route has a total ascent of 13.99 m and has a maximum elevation of 19.28 m.
Hotels on the scooter route: Pearl Appertments Dalyan, Grande Prestige Apart Dalyan, Acar Park Hotel Dalyan, Binlik Hotel Dalyan, Bauhouse Hostel Dalyan
Restaurants on the cscooter route: Bengisu Treehouse Restaurant Dalyan, Dalyan Waterful Restaurant & Bar, Begonville House Restaurant Dalyan, Nar Danesi Restaurant & Cafe Dalyan, Gölbasi Restaurant Dalyan
Lake Sulungur (36°47’19″N 28°38’52″E)
It is ironic that in the very year that Dalyan’s Kaptan June will receive a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) award “for services to environmental conservation and the protection of endangered turtles in Turkey,” a new fight seems necessary to preserve one of the finest spots of the Dalyan-Köyceğiz Special Protected Area (SPA).
The banks of Sülüngür Lake on İztuzu Road used to be serene and tranquil. Unfortunately, this has changed over the past few years. Turks love picnicking, and so families sit down on the banks for a family lunch or an early dinner in the open air. Nothing wrong there, of course, provided that there are no open fires and their waste is managed responsibly. But unfortunately people do make open fires and do not clean up their own waste. The banks are a real mess after the weekend, especially in the summer season. Picnickers seem to do their utmost NOT to put any waste into the two waste bins provided. So there are plastic bottles and bags everywhere, and the Dalyan Municipality does not seem to feel responsible. Waste bins may be cleared, but the litter that missed the bin — unfortunately the greater part — is not collected. The site has also become a meeting place for drinking buddies, much to the annoyance of the orderly and clean restaurant nearby, where customers come to enjoy a meal in the serene atmosphere of the lake. So far the Dalyan Municipality has failed to control this and as a result, the place is littered with beer and rakı bottles that have intentionally been smashed against the rocks. One can only hope that no picnicking family’s toddler will suffer from bad cuts.
Somehow it seems that Dalyan is determined to destroy its own riches. Short-term popularity and/or financial gain influence decisions that affect vulnerable natural spots. You can see this at İztuzu Beach, where exploitation and maintenance have been outsourced. It is probably cheaper than having municipal employees do this work, but consequently this wonderful beach will certainly not be elected Europe’s Best Open Space again. Another example is the Dalyan River, where boat captains are constantly speeding but the river police do not take action. Is it so hard ticket someone they know?
There is also the issue of tolerating offenses such as crab fishing, feeding crabs to loggerhead turtles and feeding chicken skin to Nile turtles. The municipality turns a blind eye to such things, although morally wrong and punishable by law. Greed and personal popularity win over common sense and environmental concern. But let’s not forget the fact that it was the “pis kaplumbağa” — those dirty turtles — that first put Dalyan on the touristic map. In the 1980s, when there were plans to exploit İztuzu Beach, many locals thought that “big” was the way to go, only to find it was the small-scale exploitation of the Dalyan-Köyceğiz SPA that made Dalyan one of Turkey’s top destinations. One should not put that in jeopardy. Some things are just right the way they are and do not tolerate undue human interference. Sülüngür Lake was perfect the way it was. It did not and does not require picnic tables to be appreciated. I sincerely hope that the Dalyan Municipality will eventually see that there are less vulnerable alternatives that are better suited for picnicking than the banks of this wonderful lake. People who want to enjoy its beauty and serenity over a meal had better choose between the two restaurants nearby.
Sülüngür Lake certainly deserves a high rank among the finest spots of this SPA. Entry to the lake, where it connects to the Dalyan Channel, is obstructed by dalyans (stake nets) and fishing weirs. Though the resulting secluded zone was primarily intended as a fish breeding ground, the lake and its wetlands have thus become a safe haven to the Nile turtle and many waterfowl because of its limited accessibility. You can get splendid views from a number of spots, including stunning panoramic vista from Villa Gökbel or high up from the radar station and the hilltops above Çandır village. Although you cannot overlook the entire lake and delta, the wetlands and the part of the lake that stretches along İztuzu Road offer the most fantastic views in different seasons and at different times of the day. Over the years, many visitors have marveled at the beautiful oleander lane near the bend where the lake joins the road. The stretch is a treat for the eye, both because of its scenic beauty and because of its flora and fauna. You really need not be an experienced birdwatcher walking around with binoculars to spot herons, egrets, cormorants and kingfishers on the short stretch from where the oleander lane starts up to Ekin Club Dipdağ. It is in this used-to-be-beautiful road bend that the Dalyan Municipality has decided to “organize a picnic area … so that it will be easy and possible for the residents to relax and put their waste into the bins provided.”