Potential use of lacustrine/fluvial type clays in Lake Van Basin (Turkey) as liner material is investigated by studying their chemical, mineralogical and technological properties. The results show dominant clay minerals being Ca-smectite along with illite, swelling chlorite, and chlorite. Na-smectite, palygorskite, and kaolin group minerals with lesser quantities are also determined in some samples. Cation exchange capacities of samples are between 12 and 23 meq/100 g; plasticity index is between 13 and 39%; calculated hydraulic conductivity is between 2.7 x 10(-9) and 4.5 x 10(-11); volumetric swelling capacity is between 6 and 10%. It is concluded that clays in the basin have suitable properties to be used as liner materials, with some localities having better clays as liner materials than the others. The results also indicate economical potential of fluvial/lacustrine clays and highlight their important role in sustainable development of environmentally sensitive areas, among them the Lake Van Basin itself.