For centuries, Lake Tuz in central Turkey has hosted huge colonies of flamingos that migrate and breed there when the weather is warm. But this summer, a heart-wrenching scene replaced the usual splendid sunset images of the birds. Carcasses of flamingo hatchlings and adults scattered across a cracked, dried-up lake bed.
Turkey’s second-largest lake has seen its waters entirely recede this year. Experts say the lake is a victim of climate change-induced drought as well as decades of harmful agricultural policies that have exhausted its underground water supply.
Several other lakes across Turkey have receded to alarming levels. Climate experts warn the entire Mediterranean Sea basin is particularly at risk of severe drought and desertification.