This photo shows a landscape from Köyceğiz village, which is located near Lake Köyceğiz and Dalyan in southwest Turkey. There are only a few lakes in the world that discharge their water to the sea via a river. Lake Köyceğiz is one of them.
The lake is located in Turkey’s Muğla province and, thanks to its unique characteristics, is the central element of the Köyceğiz-Dalyan Special Environmental Protection Area. The land around it is home to the endemic liquidamber trees, the endangered otter (Lutra Lutra) and the endangered loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta Caretta). The Yuvarlakçay and Namnam rivers bring in cold, karstic waters that are vital to the citrus and pomegranate production process for which the region is known.
Since early 2010, locals from the area have developed a reputation as being environmentally conscious and tough. They have succeeded in stopping a hydro-electric powerplant project on the Yuvarlakçay river which they believe will destroy their well-being along with the area’s fragile ecosystem. They have mounted a continuous protest and been blocking camp at the river source ever since.
To the 14,000 people that live in the area, water is precious. The owner of the land shown in this photo was possibly there at the protest, shouting “Hands off my water, my land, my life.”