Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Blog 25. Seyhan Lake - Adana's beautiful Lake

Blog 25. Seyhan Lake - Adana
The Life of the beautiful Seyhan Lake, Adana

In Australia I live near a beautiful Lake system called Tuggerah Lakes. I have grown up around the lakes. Being around a lake makes me feel at home. Maybe that’s part of the reason I feel so at home when I come to Adana. Adana, also has a beautiful lake called Seyhan Lake.


Lakes are places of life and often reveal much about the people who live around, revealing their lifestyles and sense of environment, family and culture. Seyhan Lake is no exception and I really think if you visit Adana, you really need to take a walk, take a drive around the lake. Stop at one of the many vendor vans and take in the surroundings peacefully whilst drinking a nice hot cup of salep in winter or their famous Bibi Bibi in Summer.

Watch the people, feel the atmosphere, enjoy the wonderful foods and restaurants around the lake. Go fishing, have a BBQ, play some sport on the shoreline or in the water. There is so much on offer!

I’d like to give you a taste of the lake so explore with me from a tourist eyes, or that of a frequent visitor.

 There are roads that wind around all around Seyhan Lake and my wife’s Father, Salim, has kindly driven my wife and I all over the place. Around every corner is a new BBQ site or recreation area, or restaurant, little pots or gold everywhere!

They are little hidden bays and winding roads lined with Salep vans so you can sit and take advantage of the scenery.


Or if you prefer a full meal there are so many wonderful little restaurants each with their own character. The prices are very good here, I mean seriously good prices by western standards. You can eat well and sample all the tastes of Adana, Turkey around this large Lake.


And the people are very friendly, hospitable, even though this is not known as a Tourist destination.

Personally I love the little street food vendors and vans, salep and cay machines, in the winter, so refreshing!


Last time I was there we visited a larger lake side restaurant that probably doubles as a night club style restaurant in the summer season for its perfect location and size. Its name was KAKTUSPARK and it’s located right by the long bridge that  runs over the lake (Bati Bridge).


There is also a little restaurant on the other side of the bridge which is the picture of my wife and I sitting by the water here, but for now I’ll talk about the KAKTUSPARK and surrounds.


KAKTUSPARK restaurant. We chose a Turkish pizza and chicken dish which came with salad and it was both generous and very tasty! The service was nice, friendly and the salad fresh.  It was off season when we were there so very few people. A host of high school students arrived as we were finishing up and they all crowded around little Michael Emre and took selfies with him. Where ever we take Michael in Turkey his half Aussie, half Turkish combination a winning combination with the locals. (Though he gets more of his good look from his mum than me! ) lol


I think this picture above of them all together is gold and classic Turkish. Really attractive picture of the youth of Adana, happy, full of life and smiles and like most of those from Adana, very attractive advertisements of Adana. The young chap in the centre, what a great Turkish smiles! J


Surrounding the KAKTUSPARK restaurant is the entry to the bridge and the waterfront. I’ve added a few bridge picture from different years below.



Directly in front of the restaurant on the roadside and lake foreshore is a typical scene. As is the case for many parts of Adana, stray dog’s line the road ways and waterfronts.  Generally they are friendly dossal animals but the odd one may take to you with a snarl so better to be safe than sorry and not approach. These dogs you see in the photo were very friendly but one just 20 meters behind me took a dislike to me and came barking across the street. I bid a hastily retreat! J

Don’t let the dogs put you off thought, in 7 years that’s only one that ever bothered me.


Directly on the road, next to the bridge entry is an unusual site. Pony rides. Well pony rides are not unusual but pony rides right next to a gun shooting range certainly is! The owner of this weird recreation combination has set up balloons along the lakeside for customers to shoot at. For the kiddies it’s ponies, for the adults it’s guns! Scary. Scarier still, I did see a young boy about 10 or 11 fire of a round.  That won’t pass any OH&S checks back in Australia, that’s for sure!! :-/


Moving on around the lakes, there some unusual sites also to see, like a windmill on a hill top and boat houses. It’s very calm lake so boat houses would probably be nice!

One of my favourite pictures I took a few years ago is my cover photo for this blog, that is, two rowers enjoying the calm waters of the lake with the city skyline in the foreground.
There is also a picture of a lone individual on a little grass bank just looking out across the lake contemplating life. Now that I really relate too!

Another favourite is a typical scene around the lake, and that’s of a family making a BBQ together. How wonderful!!

But my all-time favourite picture of the lake is not a lake picture at all, but a picture of a recreation area beside the lake. This, more than any other photo represents the wonderful family and community spirit in Adana.
 Look at all the different individuals, families and little children and parents enjoying themselves around picnics and BBQ’s. How happy! How wonderful! And how much is this the people of Adana! I love this picture!

Lake Seyhan, it really is a wonderful place in Adana.

But it can be better...

I don’t want to end with a negative so it you want, just stop reading now. This is more for the people of Adana, and the ones that can make decisions.

 As I work for a local government in Australia that is centred around a lakes system, and a local government prides itself in taking care of the lake and its foreshores and recreation spaces, I think I can comment here.

I really do hope that someone from the Adana’s local Government or Mayor reads this. (with a better Turkish translation than google can give it hope) The greatest asset of Adana is its wonderful people and next to that, is its natural environment. Lake Seyhan is and asset to treasure and protect!


From what I have seen, over the years the lakes foreshores and recreation spaces have been neglected, allowed to gather litter and rubbish in enormous quantities, and the water quality is degrading.

This is the people’s lake, owned by all Adana’s people and for that reason alone, should be looked after. But also there is great opportunity for prosperity around this lake. It could be a gold mine for tourism, both domestic and international if it was managed right and the recreation spaces looked after, upgraded.

Like the city of Adana, the lake has so much to offer. This is relatively unknown to the international community and could present some wonderful opportunities in the future.

I implore and strongly encourage the local and city government of Adana to do more, don’t let this treasure degrade any further. I am happy to share the experience of Australian local government in Lakes management with Adana.

Lake Seyhan is an asset of the people of Adana. Not only for your generations, but for the ones that come after you. Please take care your lake. It’s beautiful!











1 comment:

  1. Hi Andrew,

    You have no idea how much I agree with you. I live in Adana myself since Sept 2014. I also got married to a local :) Have read some articles from your blog and I recognize many of the things you describe.

    In regards to the lake, my wife told me the local government wants to lake to be "from the people" and not "from the big corporations". That's why the shores of the lake are not filled with big bars and malls.

    With the coming of the Adana/Tarsus international airport I think things will change a bit. No idea how much, but it will likely influence hte city policy towards tourism... :) Have a nice day,
    Robert (nederob@gmail.com)