The water level has fallen by 45 per cent in Meriç and Tunca. The water level has also fallen in Manyas Lake in Balıkesir, one of Turkey’s most important wetlands, causing alarm among local fishermen.
“Two years ago we caught 1000 tonnes of fish, and last year that number was 700 tonnes, meaning both we and the state made money. But this year sales are down. The water in the lake has receded almost 2 kilometres. The stone jetty to which we used to tie our boats is now 100 metres inland. We cannot go fishing,” said Reşit Çetin, head of Balıkesir’s Bereketli Village Fishery Products Cooperative.
Birds nesting in the wetland year after year have also been affected by the drought, as the reeds they use during their breeding period have been destroyed. Migrating pelicans that normally nest in reeds on the water now nest on muddy earth surrounding the lake.