Built mostly on an island now lashed by a causeway to the shore of Uluabat Gölü, GÖLYAZİ is an atmospheric community of storks’ nests and a few surviving half-timbered houses daubed with rust-tint or ochre paint. Bits of Roman and Byzantine Apollonia have unconcernedly been pressed into domestic service, with extensive courses of wall ringing the island’s shoreline. In the smaller mainland neighbourhood, the huge Ayos Yorgos Greek church, large enough for a few hundred parishioners, is currently being restored. The lake itself, speckled with nine islets, is only two metres deep, murky and not suitable for swimming, though it does attract numerous water birds. Appearances could lead you to pronounce Gölyazı the quintessential fishing village: there’s a daily fish auction at the island end of the causeway, while women mending nets and rowboats are much in evidence. This conceals the fact, however, that pesticide and fertilizer runoff from the surrounding farmland, as well as the proliferation of introduced carp, is constantly diminishing the native catch.