Turkey's First Lady Emine Erdogan on Sunday took to Twitter to ask her followers to vote for the country's Lake Van at the NASA photo competition.
“The photograph of Lake Van, which has a unique natural beauty, taken from space and with all shades of blue, made it to the finals in NASA's online competition,” Erdogan wrote on Twitter.
She also shared a link for the competition.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry also joined Erdogan in support of the Lake Van photo.
“Turkey's #LakeVan, the largest alkaline lake on our Planet, is hypnotizing from space as well, w/its many shades of blue and turquoise waters,” the ministry wrote on Twitter, adding “Let’s vote now,” sharing the link for the contest.
In the battle between the best photos taken by astronauts, the showdown came down to a unique Turkish lake versus stars in the heavens. The photos were taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
The Tournament Earth competition, which kicked off on March 8, features more than two decades of snapshots by spacewalkers.
The last photos standing in the final include a 2012 composite of stars in motion over the Americas, shot by astronaut Don Pettit, and an alkaline lake in eastern Turkey – Lake Van – captured in 2016 by astronaut Kate Rubins, according to NASA’s online Earth Observatory.
“In the semifinals, the photo of Lake Van took 94 percent of the vote against the Castellanus cloud tower,” said the website, referring to the previous round, adding that an image of stars and earthly lights in motion also beat its rival to make it to the final.
The pictures, showing unique views of the planet, were gathered in four groups – Unity, Cupola, Destiny, and Tranquility – based on four modules of the space station.
The photo Stars in Motion by Pettit was in the Unity bracket, while Lake Van was in the Tranquility bracket.
Voters have until April 12 at noon US Eastern Time (1600GMT) to choose their favorite picture at earthobservatory.nasa.gov/tournament-earth.