Drought struck Lake Iznik, Turkey’s fifth largest lake. When the waters of the lake receded for 200 meters, the 2,000-year-old basilica came to light.
The sunken basilica, which was determined to be built in the name of St. Neophytos, located 50 meters off the lake shore in the Iznik district of Bursa, came to light as the waters receded nearly 200 meters. The history of Iznik, which dates back to the 4th century and has been home to many civilizations such as Bithynia, Seljuk, Roman and Ottoman, thanks to aerial photographs taken in 2014, it was revealed that there is a 2,000-year-old basilica in the Iznik lake.
The basilica, which was buried in the lake waters during the earthquake in 740, was shown among the most important discoveries of 2014. The sunken basilica rose above the water surface due to the drought. It is claimed that the excessive water drawn for the irrigation of industrial and agricultural areas caused the level of the lake to drop. The people of Iznik want the reasons for the water drawdown to be investigated by the authorities.
Bekir Uslu, who has been running a cafe by the lake of Iznik for 20 years, said, “There was no such drawdown in the past. In the last 10 days, the drawdown has increased even more. We observed that in some parts of Iznik Lake, the waters receded by 200 meters. In recent years, kiwi production has increased by the lake of Iznik. Kiwi loves juice. A lot of water is drawn to irrigate this product. We want the authorities to carry out an investigation on the withdrawal of the Iznik lake” he said. (Ntv)