Top Picks! 5 of the Best Rivers in Türkiye
- The Euphrates: Home of great early Civilisations!
The Euphrates River is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. On its banks are some of the oldest cities of the region and a traveller will surely come across its winding waters several times.
- Kızılırmak: Türkiye’s Longest River
The Kızılırmak River at 1,355 km is Türkiye’s longest river. The town of Avanos set on the banks of the Kızılırmak is one of the best places to experience the Red River and this is one of the top places to visit in Cappadocia.
- Köprülü River: Roman Bridges & White-Water Rafting
The Köprülü River flows into the Mediterranean near Serik through narrow and deep canyons. It has a fascinating history and is one of Türkiye’s top locations for white-water rafting.
- Dalyan River: Where the River Delta meets the Sea
At Dalyan is where the river delta meets the sea so one side of the beach you can swim in freshwater from the river and, on the other side you can swim in the salt water of the sea. The area is also famous as a nesting ground for caretta caretta sea turtles.
- Sakarya River: Flowing into the Black Sea
The Sakarya River ends on the coast of the Black Sea. The river creates a web of estuaries in the province and the natural beauty is breath-taking. If you want to be amidst nature, history, serenity and comfort, Sakarya is the place to be.
Overview of Rivers in Türkiye
- Historically water has always been an important element for humankind for agricultural and industrial production and for transportation.
- People chose to live in areas served by rivers. 520 billion m3 of water (rain, snow) fall annually in Türkiye and 32% of this amount forms rivers. Although this is a large volume of water, not many of the rivers are long. They are plentiful in number due to the existence of many hills, ranges of mountains, plateaus and plains in the country.
- Generally, the rivers originate at altitudes of 1,000-2,000 m and flow into the sea after 700-800 km which is a comparatively short distance. Consequently, their speed is fast, and they carry large amounts of alluviums. These alluviums have contributed to some of the geological formations over the centuries.
- The harbours of some ancient cities such as Ephesus, Priene or Troy, which once had shorelines, are present day ruins located a few kilometres inland due to the silting up the harbours. The lakes of Bafa and Sapanca were once bays before their entrances became closed by alluvium deposits.
- In spring, especially in April, the rivers carry the maximum amount of water which is muddy in colour because it carries a lot of soil. The season in which the minimum water is carried is the autumn, especially September.
- The majority of the rivers in Anatolia are not navigable, having irregular, shallow beds and seasonal depth changes.
- Often the rivers are named according to their colours; Kızılırmak (red river), Aksu (white water), Bozçay (grey river), sometimes with the names of places or surrounding things; Değirmendere (mill river), Köprüçay (bridge river), or with some adjectives describing the nature of the river; Deliçay (crazy river), Cehennemdere (hell river), İkizdere (twin rivers).
- Most Turkish rivers originate within the country’s borders, a feature which gives Türkiye a strategic power because there is no risk of water limitation by its neighbours
- The Euphrates and Tigris join together in Iraq and flow into the Persian Gulf. Less than half of the Euphrates and one third of the Tigris are within Anatolia today.
- The Kızılırmak (Halys) is the longest river originating and flowing within the borders of Türkiye; 1,355 km.
- Yeşilırmak and Sakarya are the longest rivers after the Kızılırmak, and flow into the Black Sea.
- The Aras and Kuruçay flow beyond Türkiye’s borders into the Caspian Sea in western Asia.
- The Susurluk, Biga and Gönen flow into the Marmara Sea.
- The Gediz, Büyük Menderes, Küçük Menderes and Meriç flow into the Aegean Sea.
- The Seyhan, Ceyhan and Göksu flow into the Mediterranean Sea.