Sultan Reeds, a bird paradise in Central Anatolia
The Sultan Reeds National Park on the skirts of Erciyes Mountain welcomes its visitors with reeds longer than a human height as well as bird sounds.
The park, which was declared a protected area in 2020, was named after the Ottoman Sultan Murat IV who stayed there with his army for three months on his way to the 1636 Revan Expedition.
Located in the Develi, Yahyalı and Yeşilhisar districts, approximately 75 kilometers from the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri, the reeds are among the most important wetlands in Turkey, as they contain fresh and salt water lakes and are home to 301 bird species.
Being an important accommodation, breeding, rearing and feeding area for migratory birds, the park also attracts attention from nature and bird photographers.
Declared as a Wetland of International Importance as part of the RAMSAR Convention in 1994, the Sultan Reeds National Park almost completely dried up in the past years and revived again with water supplement after the construction of the Zamantı Tunnel.
Thanks to efforts such as preventing illegal wells and illegal hunting in the area, the installation of drip irrigation and sprinkler systems in agricultural activities in the region, the Sultan Reeds is now among the travel routes of local and foreign tourists with its former glory.
Visitors to the national park first get information about the reeds and its beauties in the information hall at the Bird Museum. They then tour the bird museum, which displays the replicas of 40 bird species living in the national park. The park offers a peaceful atmosphere, accompanied by the sounds of birds, around two wooden walking paths with a length of 2,100 and 2,200 meters.
On the bird watching towers, visitors can see the splendor of Mount Erciyes and observe the birds.
They can also take a rest in the RAMSAR area in the Sindelhöyük neighborhood of Develi district and tour the region on a horse.
Bird rehabilitation center
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Erciyes University (ERÜ) Vice Dean of Veterinary Faculty Professor Ali Cesur Onmaz said the Sultan Reeds is one of the best places for birds to take shelter as a natural habitat.
Stating that every area in the national park is being watched for birds, Onmaz said, “There is also a bird rehabilitation center here. Injured birds can be treated here if treatment is available. There are bird watching rooms and natural walking areas for visitors. It is a place where those, who want to be together with nature and living things, especially birds, can have a great time, I highly recommend this place.”