Sometimes I get so far off the beaten track, that the place is not mentioned in guidebooks and does not appear on maps. This is a problem, when I am researching material for an article but on this occasion, I did not care because in front of me was an astonishing landscape view of Hamzalar lake in Beypazari.
Stood on a hilltop, I looked over the green countryside, small lake, and large mountains looming in the background. It was stunning but the small lake grabbed my attention and we drove down the steep hillside to get there.
Hamzalar Lake in Beypazari
The lake is in the Beypazari region of Turkey, near the capital, Ankara and locals told me the background story….
It has three names; Kayisin, Depel, and Hamzalar
Three names exist because nobody can decide what to call it
Nobody can decide what to call the lake because it is new and manmade.
One man lives near the lake. His small hotel sells accommodation, decorated in the traditional Turkish home-style. You can also pay him a small fee to go fishing.
That man is a former Turkish army wrestler. He won many tournaments and eventually became champion, earning himself, the wrestling belt as a prize.
Another word for “belt” in Turkish is “kayis” , hence the first name given to the lake.
I wanted to meet that man; the Turkish army champion wrestler but unfortunately, I never did. It was the end of the summer in Beypazari and most of the small villages were packing up and heading to towns or cities for the winter. If you visit this region and get to meet him, please come back and tell me about it. His life story intrigues me deeply.
Handy Tip: If traveling from Istanbul to Cappadocia, you can take a slight detour to visit the Ottoman region of Beypazari. Find out more here.