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Silence of the Lammergeiers

Walking in Turkey's Lake District

The towering peaks and rolling foothills of Turkey’s Lake District simply take one’s breath away. Kate Clow is captivated.

  • The freezing south wind drives snow clouds over the north slope of Davras. Abandoned by the shepherds, left to the foxes and the lammergeier, in midwinter night-time temperatures plummet and the snow stays crisp all day

Eğirdir, at the heart of Anatolia’s majestic Lake District and the midpoint of a triangle of mopuntains, is great trekking country. I In winter intrepid walkers share the snowy silence of the Davras, Gelincik and Dedegül peaks with wheeling lammergeiers, or lamb-vultures. In summer these towering limestone massifs, home to migrant herds of goats and sheep, are a refuge from the heat of the coastal plain. For the trekker, each peak has its own appeal. This article focuses on three walks.

DAVRAS Splendid isolation

Davras is a rocky tower on top of the start citadel of a ridge which runs east-west at an altitude of 2,500 metres. The ridge is broad and rolling, covered with loose stones and boulders except in two or three hollows where rain-washed soil has allowed short mountain turf to grow. Defended by sharp buttresses and broken by fine-grained scree slopes, it descends northwards to rolling foothills which, at 2,000 metres, remain too high to support trees. On the south side, the slopes descend even more steeply to pine forests and tiny villages…

GELİNCİK Pastoral Perfection

Gelincik Dağı, which means ‘Poppy Mountain’, is the highest point of the Barla massif. It runs southwest to northeast on the west side of Lake Eğirdir, cut by deep valleys and a canyon running down to the lake. The hillsides are less steep and more sheltered from the winds than on Davras, and slightly better topsoil gives a superior pasture. The lower slopes are not forested, except on the lake side, so pasture extends as far down as the villages on the southern slopes…

DEDEGÜL Ideal for beginners

Dedegül Tepe and Kartal Tepe, five metres lower, are the main, twin peaks of a rounded ridge, part of the Dedegül range. The name supposedly originates from a huge pink flower that blooms exclusively on this peak in summer – but I have only met one person who claims to have seen it. Brilliant crocus and red tulips abound, however, and in the forrests are orchids, tawny foxgloves and doronicum. The mountain is near to Lake Beyşehir than Eğirdir, and it rears like an upturned pudding basin from the dark forests around…

Kate Clow details all three climbs giving directions and practical advice.
Visit for more information on walks in Turkey.

To read the full article, purchase Issue 17

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Issue 17, 1999 The Republic
£12.00 / $15.53 / €14.26
Other Highlights from Cornucopia 17
  • Diary of the Emerging Republic

    When, on that autumn day in 1923, the Turkish Republic was first proclaimed, its capital, Ankara, could hardly have looked less like the capital of a large country.

  • Headhunting

    The memoirs of Frederick Courtney Selous, naturalist, explorer and probably the greatest of all the African hunters of the nineteenth century, recall his hunting expeditions in Turkey. His book East and West: Sport and Travel has been translated into Turkish by Derin Türkömer, a passionate hunter himself, who describes his hero’s adventures

  • The Great Yalı of Zeki Pasha

    Built as a glittering prize, then closed through war and exile, this flamboyant survivor is one of the last of the great waterfront mansions of the Bosphorus.

  • The Family Brassica

    The Greeks and Romans, who appreciated cauliflower for its sobering effect, were particularly fond of the magnificent cauliflowers of Cyprus, with their tasty creamy-white florets.

  • The Republic

    Cornucopia celebrates Turkey’s 75th birthday with 40 pages of photographs by Ara Güler and John Brunton and articles by Norman Stone and David Barchard. It was the century of Turkey’s birth, of unprecedented peace and hard-won prosperity. In just 75years, Turkey has come a long way.

Buy the issue
Issue 17, 1999 The Republic
£12.00 / $15.53 / 511.97 TL
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