Meke Gölü - Lake Meke
If you enjoy your job, you never have "the Monday blues" in Ankara. The time for annoyance is on weekends. How can you spend your weekend here? On this steppe where there is no green or blue; and where whatever there is makes you wish it weren't, as it is all neglected.
People wander around shopping malls, for they cannot find a place suitable for a good time in nature. These malls are all covered; even their parking lots are covered. Well, it's fine in winter but what about the hot summer months? They push past each other to set foot on escalators, in order to eat food cooked -in -three minutes at fast food courts with their air heavy with the mixed smells of various foodstuff. However, rare though they may be, there are still some places close to Ankara where you can enjoy yourself during weekends.
We left for Konya from AFSAD (Ankara Photographers Association) to visit Meke Lake and Taşkale, which we had heard a lot about. There were four of us in the car: Nalan, Melis, Hakan and I. Our driver demonstrated his swarthiness with a white shirt and a necklace on which his initials were carved. Nalan is an amateur photographer and Melis is a member of AFSAD. The traffic was heavy until the Makas exit, and we lost our friends driving ahead of us. The highway was full of trucks, buses and Almancı (the Turkish population living in Germany) vehicles. Some of them were carrying goods while some of them were carrying passengers. They distributed their goods first off in Ankara and then continued on their journey. There was confusion on the road and it was a summary of Turkish highways: very crowded and dangerous. Vehicles pointlessly overtaking the left, and policemen lying in wait for traffic fines. The FM reception began to fade out as we drove away from Ankara and we looked for new stations; however, we were able to find only ads for LPG and cell phone shops on a local radio station.. Finally, we put on the tape player, and the cassettes were the ones Hakan enjoyed. Well, the car belongs to him!! You cannot listen to the music he prefers!
The other group didn't wait for us, thinking we would meet in Konya. Master Isa was leading while we, his students, were following. There were cultivated fields lying along the road and we stopped under the first tree, which we saw some kilometers after leaving Gölbaşı. We did not want to miss this moment and took some photos. The old tree, the species of which I did not know, met us proudly. Our main purpose was to arouse the other group's jealousy with the tree photos. After half an hour as it was getting dark we continued to drive and reached Konya.
Although we should have left early in the morning, we were late due to the some of us getting up late, and so we had to drive under the hot July sun. We reached Karapınar, where our guide joined the group. And finally, we reached Meke Lake after an 8-kilometer drive. I was disappointed and thought "Is this the place they've been praising? We've tired ourselves in vain. There are many places much more interesting than here." We parked the cars and began to walk on the volcanic land. It was the color of ash everywhere, and it was surrounded with black rocks and a hard structure. The voice of master Isa helped us to recover from our monotonous mood: "Get ready guys!"
And we began to listen to our guide. He told us that this Crater Lake is the Nazar Boncuğu (blue bead to avert the evil eye) of the world and how it had been formed four million years ago. It was hot and I was not listening carefully. I was just interested in taking photos and then leaving the place. Then we began to walk around the lake, following the tire tracks while looking for interesting sites to take pictures of.
I began to take it more seriously as we walked, and began to perceive it from a different point of view. Maybe I was looking for another surrounding. There were no tourist facilities around. It was surprising not to see Coke ads, restaurants or cafés with white plastic chairs. I was expecting to drink a cold Coke and shoot a few pictures without breaking a sweat.
However there is none. Thankfully!!. If they were to build an establishment here, the sewer system would empty into the lake, the garbage would spread all over the area, the bags and bottles would spoil the scene.
Visitors should be ready for this scene and come accordingly. Let's leave this place untouched with its gray ashes, and let the migrating birds fly freely. Let's not destroy in a few years what has been preserved for four million, like the one Tuz Gölüin Konya and Aksaray, which they've polluted with waste.
Anyhow, I had changed and begun to love the unaffected nature of Meke, despite the heat preventing us from breathing easily. I felt more positive when I saw the ruddy-geese and the beautiful color of the lake. The clouds reflected on the surface, and I was fascinated as I walked over the ashes. When was it discovered? How many people have stood here excited in bewilderment? How many people have felt sad? This is another world. The cavity on top of Meke resembles a felt hat. The famous "Baraka" documentary directed by Ron Fricke and with music by Micheal Stearns immediately crossed my mind. This place, together with the migrating birds, should be the first scene of that stunning documentary which took seven years to complete.
Despite the SUN we took photos. A military vehicle went past us raising a great dust. Of course they would pass, this area is natural SIT (protected) area of the first degree.
Everybody asked Melis to model. She seemed to belong there with her red dress. The lake was behind Melis and she believed she was a model.
We were curious about our shots and nobody was complaining. We were only sad that our timing was off. We didn't have enough time to fully feel it!. I hope the ruddy-geese and other migrating birds never leave here. This is my only wish. Please let nothing come here; it will surely spoil everything.
Next time I will come here earlier. I will watch the sun rise, I want to view the migrating birds… I'll wait till evening, and after shooting the sunset, I'll say good-bye.
Not this time, but I'll come again.
Don't go anywhere.
Wait for me, MEKE, in all your natural form.
Who is Salih Güler?
Born in 1959, has bs in economics. His photography adventure began in 2000, with his cats. He mostly shoots direct and stage photographs. First runner up in Koç allianz's Turkey's Families contest. Member of AFSAD and GESAM.
İzmir Wild Life Park|
Cappadocia - Kapadokya|
Meke Gölü - Lake Meke||
Oylat: Treatment from Paradise||
Skiing at Kartalkaya||
Yedi Göller -Seven Lakes-|
Would you like to add your comment about this article? Click here!
Festival on Wheels
International Theater Festival
Blues Festival 24
Antalya Piano Festival
Inside Out in Istanbul
Antalya Sand Sculpture Festival
Photo of the Month
Expat Choirs in Ankara