When winter comes, this lake freezes over, but when the weather warms up in May, the ice melts and the spot starts hosting a wide variety of migratory birds.
The lake is dotted with around 10 islands, some small, some large, and these become inhabited by birds that range from pelicans to wild geese, storks, gulls, wild ducks, hawks and cormorants. In fact, Lake Aktaş is known to be one of the only places in Turkey where pelicans breed.
When the ice starts to melt, the hatchlings emerge, and the pelicans stay on, heading towards the Red Sea region only when the weather starts turning cold again. Muharrem Akdeniz from the village sets out in his fishing boat to observe the birds on the various islands. Akdeniz notes that he does what he can to make sure the birds’ eggs come to no harm; he underscores his wish to see bird watchers and scientists alike visit Lake Aktaş and its islands. Many people living in the 52-house village have gone abroad in recent years so that they would not have to work in animal husbandry. Seyfullah Akgün is not happy about these migrations; his own son, Şahin, does not wish to stay in the village.
The fact that a new border crossing with Georgia is set to be opened soon near Aktaş is, however, exciting for local youth. Other expectations on this front lie with the completion of the Baku-Tbilisi–Kars train line. When this train line is finally completed -- a project that was started in parallel with the Marmaray Project spanning Bosporus in İstanbul -- it will be possible to have goods transported all the way from Europe to China. And a significant stop on this line of traffic is set to be the now far away seeming village of Kenarbel.