GÖKÇEADA

- G Ö K Ç E A D A - I M B R O S

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Gokceada with its boundless, sandy beaches, clean sea is a wonderful beauty in which the past and present live together. There are churches, mosques, monasteries, old Greek houses and modem examples of architecture where the different cultures come together in our island. It is possible to have a pleasure of blue sea on Aydincik, Yuvali, Yildizkoy, Ugurlu and Gizlikoy natural beaches and also have a picnic in Tepekoy Cinaralti and Marmaros TIGEM picnic area. It has been reported by the scientists that the density of sulfur in Salt lake around Aydincik during the summer season helps for those who have rheumatic, calcinosis and psoriasis illnesses. Because of island's windy weather, island is suitable for tracking sport. Accordingto the legend the name of Imbros comes from ancient Greek and means "Windy Island" Because of this it is also a suitable place for windsurfers. It is possible to hunt different kinds of wild animals like partridges, wild rabbits, woodcocks and finches. It is worth tasting thewines produced in the island. The archeological excavations headed by Halime Huryilmaz associate professor of Hacettepe University are still going on. According to the results of these excavations of five years, the first signs of the living were 5000 years ago. On the other hand the coast between Kalekoy and Kuzulimam has been accepted as "National Underwater Park" by TUDAV.
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Geographical Structure: It is an area of 289,5 in kms. The lenght of North - South is 13 kms. and it has a length of 29.5 kms. East-West. It is far from about 33 miles Canakkale but 14 miles from Kabatepe Sea Port on the peninsula of Gelibolu, 16 miles from a Greek island Limni 14 miles from an island named Samothrace.
Drinkable Water: Gokceada is the 4th island of the world from the point of plenty of fresh water sources in the world.
Population : Island has 9 villages and a township centre. These are Kalekoy, Eski Bademli, Yeni Bademli, Zeytinlikoy, Tepekoy, Derekoy, Ugurlu, Eselek, and Sirinkoy. The Population of the centre is 7100 the number of inhabitans of the villages is 1500 But during the time of winter it is about 10.000.
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SETTLEMENT ON THE ISLAND: Gokceada consists of main district (Panayia) and the units of settlement in ten villages: Tepekoy, Zeytinlikoy, Bademlikoy, Derekoy, Kalekoy, Ugurlukoy,Yenibademli, Sahinkaya,Sirinköy and Eselek  (It is stated by the authorities that Sahinkaya, which was settled as an independent village, is also a quarter of Derekoy ). Tepekoy, Zeytinlikoy, Bademlikoy, Derekoy and Kalekoy, together with the main District, are the oldest places of settlement of the Island. And outsider may not understand the reason why these villages are founded on highlands, on steep hills while there are so many plains and shores. But these places have been chosen with a reasonable approach. It is natural for the people who lived on Agean and Mediterranean islands and along the Agean coasts which were threatened by pirates for ages, to choose the places to live in the regions far from the sea for the sake of being away from the pirates and of defending them selves easily. The house shown in the book is in Zeytinlikoy and according to the research made on the island it is the only house which has "crenellated loop-hole" built to be used against pirates. Although the protruding parts of the loophole are very clear to see today, the owners of the house have converted it to a built-in cupboard in the course of the time and it is still used for the same purpose (1988). The activities of Turks in Gokceada, which date back to centuries ago, were no more than collecting taxes or keeping the island for the purpose of security. Turks have not been eager to accept permanent residence on the island, first to mention: Buyukada, Heybeli, Kinali, Burgaz etc. so called "The Princes' Island" which are on the Sea of Marmara and then the others. It is natural that nobody was interested in Gokceada and Bozcaada during the Ottoman period because of the distance and the other conditions, but it's interesting that the Turks didnt inhabit the Princess Islands although they were very close to the capital city of the Ottoman Empire. After the Treaty Lousanne, the Island has been under the sovereignty of Turks; but yet, after so many years, the Turks form only the bureaucrat part of the inhabitants of the island. Although these bureaucrats who were determined to stay on the island were provided with opportunities such as houses, land etc. by the state, the first registered inhabitants, the Surmene families, who were brought to the Island in 1974 were met by ta community of Turks which comprised only four families. Today only one of those four families, the Tokgoz family, have still been living on the Island.. Today, only four out of those fifteen "Surmeneli" families who were settled fortyone years ago still maintain their existance on the island. The members of the three families, who are still on the Island, earn their lives from the sea and the related minor jobs. These are Dereli, Konyali and Daginik families. The Ozumcu family, the fourth one, is interested in education and their children have chosen different careers like teaching, law etc. Gokceada has been in the process of changing since 1964. New villages, new establishments and of course a new but developing community of islanders can be observed there. Some characteristics have been essential for being "an islander" since the early times in history. From traditions to the relations of friendship, from personal benefits to being a good nerghbour, everything is of special significance to an "Islander". The Islanders have always shared feelings of each other, like the blowing of the wind, like the pain that they had when their relatives or intimate friends didnt turn up with the ships which have been expected for ages but never returned. They learned to understand each other very well during the period when they had no electricity and no telephone. Islanders all around the world continued to be self-sufficient till the 20 th. Century. You should always keep in mind that all kinds of sorrow and happiness, from birth to death, have been experienced together. It is not easy to be an Islander. The population of Gokceada (which has been conti- nually renewed since 1964), is a society that have been brought together from different regions, from different customs and traditions. Now, they are trying to become close friends, "Islanders". It is known that one can not easily lose the personality of an 'islander', which has been developed through ages, also it is not so easy to become an 'islander' in a couple of years. The adults of today havent got much chance to become real islanders. But I do believe that their children will succeed in becoming "islanders". One day, they, will understand each other much better, will grow up together and will have stories of their child hood which they can tell each other. Being an "islander" is a matter of 'Devotion' Being an islander is loving everyone and never feeling hesitant.
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TOWN CENTRE (PANAIA): Panaia is the administrative centre of the island. In the Health Care Centre gynocological and emergency surgery services are available. The drinking water problem was solved by the purification of the dam water. Accomodation can be found in the newly opened large hotel and in some smaller hotels and pensions. There are enough restaurants to cater for the summer season. Rebuilding has been carried out since 1965. The housing problem of the civil servants has been solved following the completion of lodgement buildings. The characteristic architecture of the island can be seen in the Cami and Yenimahalle Districts. In addition to the Old Mosque, Fatih Mosque and New Mosque, Aya Panayia and Yenimahalle churches can be visited. It is possible to go to Kuzulimani and Kalekoy by public bus, minibus and taxi.
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KALEKOY:
Kalekoy is one of the oldest villages of Gökçeada.It is four kilometers from the Gökçeada town center.It is dividedin two part,these being Asagi(Lower) and yukari (upper Kaleköy. Lower Kaleköy is a lively location in the summer months.The waterfront , tea gardens , restaurants and bars are here. By contrast, upper Kaleköy is where you have one of the most ancient structures of the island, ISKITER CASTLE. Some parts of the castle , which was built by Genovase , are still standing.The Isskıter Castle is on the top of a hill that overlooks the Çinarli Plateau.From the ppoint where the castle stands you have a clear view of Lower Kaleköy , and the villages of Yenibademli , Eskibademli and Zeytinli. If you look to the north east it is ppossible to see Yelkenkaya ( sail rock) that gives the appearance of the sail of a boat and can only reached by sea. Its port is the Island's most developed bay for swimming. In this area no new public buildings can be constructed but restoration is allowed. The pension business is not well developed. Yildiz Bay, on the other side of the village is uninhabited except for a few houses. It's a nice bay at a 15 min. distance. The sea is free from waves. The castle on the top of the village is worth to see.
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TEPEKOY: Tepeköy is approximately 10 kilometers from the Gökçeada town center. It is the highest village on the island and has a large proportion of our Greek citizens. One of the places in Tepeköy to interest the visitor is Pinarbasi( Ispilya), one of the island's many beautiful picnic spots. yoou can reach Pinarbasi if you take the dirt track on the right approximately 100-150 meters before you come to the village of Tepeköy. Here the naturally running water and the century old plane trees, all of which are officialy protected., add to the atmosphere. It is a very pleasant and cool location for those who want to escape the suffocatingly hot summer heat. It was once famous for its orchards and vineyards. But these are disappearing due to neglect. The promenade of the village Pinarbasi / Ispilya is mentioned in 'the Blue Voyage' by Azra Erhat.
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ESKIBADEMLI : The village of Eskibademli Köyü is four kilometers from the town center. It is well worth seeing for interesting building to be found there. You should to visit the çamasirhane ( Laundry Building ) and the old primary school building. The centuries old plane tree in front of the Camasirhane immediately catches your eye. Moreover, the view of the sunset from Eskibademli köyü is very pleasant..It is one of the oldest island villages and has many interesting architectural features.
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DEREKOY:
This village was the most populated and prominent place in the past. Its population has increased in recent years with the foundation of the Sahinkaya district. Dereköy is one of the oldest villages on the island. It is 16.5 kilometers from the town center.In the 1950s and 60s it was the largest of the island's villages in terms of both population and numbers of houses of which there are approximately 600. However, many of these are now abandoned.The historical laundry building in the village is worth seeing. The water at the building is plenty and nice.
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YENI BADEMLI :
The population was 581 in 2000. The industrious people of this village produce most of the vegetables, milk, eggs and dried food needed on the island. In summer time they supplement their income by keeping guests or renting part of their houses to visitors. However, the village is not well developed. It's only 5 min. from Kalekoy Bay, and therefore the people should avail of the opportunities for development.
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UGURLU : The village is in 25 kilometers from the Gokceada town center. The villagers here are descendants of people who were brought over from the mainland regions Muğla and Burdur. Most make their living from agriculture, animal breeding and operating pensions in their homes. The summer accomodation sites for the Education and Health Ministries and the Village services General Management are within the borders of this village. You go through Ugurlu Köyü to get to one of the most naturaland seemingly endless sand beaches of the island, Gizli Liman ( secret port ) . If you take the dirt road on the righth before you get to the quay and travel for two kilometers you come to Gizli Liman. The lenght of the beach is approximately one to one and a half kilometers. The beach is totaly virgin and there is no construction in the areaThis in one of the newer villages. It is situated in an open area in the south. As yet, it is a barren place without green, trees or shade. In summer the people open their houses as pensions. It is very suitable for a peaceful vacation with its long beach and fishing facilities.
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ZEYTINLIKOY: Zeytinlikoy is socially very well developed. It is 3.5 km. from Panaia. Its name comes from the olive groves surrounding the village. In the evening visitors come here to drink the delicious coffee, freshly pounded in morters.A special type of coffee, called Dibek and which is famous throughout the four corners of Turkia, is made here The buildings are still in good condition. Zeytinli Köyü is one of the locations that attract visitors in both summer and winter.
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SAHINKAYA VILLAGE :The village of Sahinkaya is where the people who brought from the Çaykara township of Trabzon on the Black Sea were relocated.It is 16 kilometers from the town center. The villagers earn their living from animal breeding, agriculture and bee keeping. Here you have a diary products production center that has been set up the villagers.
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SIRINKÖY
(pleasant village)
This is a village where numbers of our citizens who were forcibly deported from Bulgaria were relocated. Apart from agriculture and animal breeding, the home pension industry is growing day by day. The abandoned building that used to  house Gökçeada Semi Open Prison, which is next to the village
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ESELEK KÖYÜ: (village)
The people of the village of eselek were moved to the island from a village of the same name in Çanakkale as the mainland Eselek was to be flooded by the waters of the Bakacak Dam. The village is  ten kilometers from the Gökçeada town center. The main sources of income for villagers are agriculture and animal raising. Operating home pensions is also a growing industry. The village products are sold at cheap prices to foreign and domestic visitors to the Aydincik region, where they come to swim, from covered stalls at the road side.
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LOGY and THE HELLENISTIC PERIOD : According to mythology the palace of Thetis, mother of Akhilleos was situated between Imroz and Samothrace. The stables of the winged horses of Poseidon lay between Imroz and Tenedoz. Homeros wrote:
In the depths of the sea on the cliff
Between Tenedos and craggy Imbros
There is a cave, wide gaping
Poseidon who made the earth temble,
stopped the horses there.
The history of island begins at the archaic period. The Greek tribes came to Greece from Middle Europe in three stages: First came the Ions in 2000 BC, secondly the Akhas in 1700 BC, and thirdly the Dors in 1100 BC. But Greece and the Aegean islands were already inhebited when they arrived. The original tribe was a totally different race, with their own language. Their language which had not yet fully evolved came from the Indo- European languages group. After the newcomers built up the historical hellenistic civilization they called the people Pelasg, Tirsin, Leiegas and they were collectively known as. The foremost example of Prehellenistic civilization was Crete, later on, the newcomers combined with them, and the Mycean civilization and the epics of Homer came out of this. On the other hand, the prehellenistic people of these islands came under the Hegemony of Athens. According to the Homeric legends, the northern tribes were blond people but the natives were dark like all Mediterraneans. The combination of the prehellenistic people and the Greeks was not so easy. Even after 1500 years, the prehellenistic people were still a separate race. Imroz and Limni are counted among these islands. The people of Imroz preserved prehellenistic characteristics until the 6th century BC. The most concrete evidence of this is the fact that the name Imroz (Imbros) is not Greek but has the prehellenistic meaning; the abundance of the infertile landgod, Imurasos. Even today most of Gokceada is infertile, therefore it is not a surprise to us that they believed in an infertile land god. In that period Limni had fertile plains and the people worshipped Demetra, a fertility goddess. According to Homer, the Imrozians took the side of the Trojans in the Trojan war. In Iliad Likaon, son of the Trojan King Priamos was enslaved by Achilles and put up for sale. Jetion, the King of Imroz, bought him and secretly sent him to Troy. This indicates that the Imrozians were totally against the Greeks. At the end of Trojan war, the administrators of Athens expelled the prehellenites and sent them to Imroz and Limni, because prehellenite boys were disturbing the Athenian girls when they went to get water from the Enneakrani Krini (9 taps fountain). (Probably this is the first time that they became islands of exile). (Until now, there has been no serious archeological excavation on the island. But an inscription in the prehellenistic language and Greek alphabet has been found in the village of Kaminia on Limni. Unfortunately, it has not yet been deciphered. E.S.). When the Persians invaded Anatolia Imroz was also inval- ved. General Otanis of Darius plundered the island. After this, the Athenians realised the strategical importance of the island facing the Dardanelles. Miltiades, son ofKipselos recaptured it. (494 BC.) Then, many Athenian soldiers were posted there. So it became an Athenian colony rather than a prehellenistic site, for the first time in its history. The first people who came from Athens were from the lower classesboth soldiers and farmers. They were called after "Kliruhos" which means "plot (land) owners". The lands of the colony were distributed among them. However, the colonization of the island was slow because of the Persian wars, and prehellenite resistance. The colonization took place in 480 BC after the Athenians defected the Persians in the battles of Plates and Salamis. But even after colonization Imroz and Limni had a certain amount of autonomy under Athenian rule. It was a hereditary characteristic which the people used to escape from punishment. For example, a man accused of an offence in Athens could plead that he was in Imroz at that time and could be exhonerated. As a result "Imrozian" came to mean "Smart" in Greek! Greek authors also used this term at the time and a comedy called "Imbrii"(Imrozians) was written ,but it has vanished.The history of the two islands is usually linked.The historian Thukiedes wrote:"Athenians and the like minded Limni and Imbroz people..." In Greek mythology it is said that the corpse of Orpheus(who was torn to pieces by the Athenian women) was found on the shores of the Limni and Imroz).
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HISTORY OF GÖKÇEADA
GOKCEADA (IMBROS):( in ancient times ) The most important settlement in Imroz is Kastro (Kalekoy) which means 'castle' in Latin. In Kalekoy, near the Byzantine walls, there was an Acropolis on the hill. Even today, one can see prehellenistic stones in the walls of the houses and the castle. The Kardamos Bay side of the castle is made up of stone from this period (No serious excavation has taken place. However one can see pottery, bricks, column heads, ancient coins about 2 m. below the surface. Some Imrozians "smart people" have robbed the site. Therefore it is important that such places have to be protected at the earliest date. E.S.). There was a shortage of water in the Kalekoy area and so a cistern on the hill of Roksodas and a dam in the valley were constructed. A German archaelogist dated this dam to the 4th century BC. and he published photographs of its ruins. One can travel from Pinarbasi to the Roksados valley following the right side in the direction of the sea. The valley faces the island of Samethrace. Because of religious ne- cessities the islanders prefered to irrigate Roksados rather than the larger Kastro plain. The temple of Imbramos was in Roksados. It, later, became the temple of Hermes. The ruins of this tample still exist. There was also a Dionysian marble throne, but this was taken to the monastery of Aia Constantin and has since disappeared. (Other noteable places are Tepekoy (Agridia), Pinarbasi (Ispilya), Kalekoy (Kastro), area. Walking from Tepekoy to Marmaros one can see the ancient large jars which contained 500-600 It. of water or olive oil but fortunately they are emtombed. E.S.). Stephanos Vizantios, one of the intellectual of the Hellenistic period, wrote in 'Lexicon' (dictionary) that Imroz was an Agean island and that there was a temple of Hermes there. There was an older jetty in the place of the new one in Kalekoy.
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THE ROMAN PERIOD: The roman settlements were mainly in the Aydincik area. The romans were greatly influenced by Greek civilization. Titus Amrius Primus, the Roman administrator of Imroz of the period had his name written in Greek in the inscriptions on the Temple of Hermes. Another interesting inscription of the period was found on the walls of the Aia Andreas monastery in Bademli. It dated back to the 2nd century BC. The names of Imrozian women who had paid 10 drahmis were inscribed there. The Romans admiration for Greek culture is also reflected in Renaissance culture. Nikiforos, the patriarch of Istanbul, wrote that in 776 the Islands of Imroz and Samothrace were attacked by Bulgarians and 2500 slaves were taken to Bulgaria. Howe- ver, they were later returned when Emperor Constantin V paid the ranson demand in 779. The Crusaders conquered Istanbul in 1204 and Imroz was put under the jurisdiction of Galipoli. This continued for 58 years until it was returned in 1262. (The relics of this period exist around Aydincik, Yuvali, Kefaloz, Pirgos). The photograph of the tomb, shown in this book, was taken at Kokine between Aydincik and Yuvali. It is easily seen in this lurid land, beyond a very large cliff, two tombs decorated with an extraordinary carving. The local term for such a tomb is "Sarcophagus" and they can be found in other places on the island too. However none are as easily found as the a forementioned. The stones used in the building of some local houses are very interesting, as they too are relics of the period and should be protected). E.S.
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THE OTTOMAN PERIOD: As soon as Istanbul was conquered and the emperor died, a great upheaval occurred on the island. The islanders thought that the Ottoman Navy would attack Imroz first. The rich escaped on boats from Kefaioz (Aydincik) Those remaining were peasant farmers. They had to think abouth how they would live under Ottoman rule. Kritovulos (annalist of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, present at the conquest of Istanbul) was one of the few remaining nobelmen. He sent his gifts to Hamza Bey, the Ottoman commander in Gallipoli, in an attempt to persuade them not to hurry to occupy the island. After that he headed a deligation chosen from Tasos, Limni, Semadirek and Imroz. They offered the islands to the Sultan in Hadrianopolis with the request that the social system be preserved. He became administrator of the islands for a short a time. When he was no longer in favour the administration of the islands was given to Palamidis; the moyor of Enez (Enna). The islanders would pay a tax of 1200 gold coins annually. When he died in 1456, the position was once more given to Kritovulos by Mehmet the Conqueror. In 1457 Papa Kolisios sent his brother Lodovic and a great navy to stir a rebellion against the Ottomans in the Aegean Islands. Some of the islands including Limni and Semadirek were seized by the Italians. However Kritovulos saved Imroz from his fate by political maneuvres. Due to his efforts Limni later had to pay 3000 gold coins annually to Dimitrius Paleologos, the despot of the Pele- penese. In 1463, during the Ottoman, Venetian war the island was occupied by Venetian Ad- miral Nikola Victor Cappello, but it was recaptured the same year. In 1467 Venetian Admiral Nikola Canale occupied it again a short time. In 1717 Ottoman Venetian war was fought near the island. The Ottomans destroyed 36 Venetian ships. Imroz was used as a place of exile during the Ottoman period and before it. During the Balkan wars, Imroz was conquered by the Greeks on 1st. October. 1912. But the Athens Agreement guranteed Ottoman rule for Bozcaada, Meis and Imroz. However this agreement fell through after the outbreak of the First World War. During the war, the battleship Goben sank two English ship's. (The Raglan and U28) just off the bay of Kuzulimani. (These wrecks were plundered by pillagers in the 1950's and their timber was used in the construction of Island houses). Turkey gave up her rights to Imroz and Bozcaada under the terms of the Sevres Agaty of Lausanne returned them on July 24th 1923.
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From Piri Reis : The famous Turkish naval commander of the 16th century Piri Reis, in his naval book "Kitab-i Bahriye" describes the island: "There is a rumour about the island of Imroz: In Rumeli, opposite Imroz, from the shores of Ece Ovasi to the straits there were sentinels then, as there are now. The island was fortified so that messages to the sentinels could be sent. The watchmen on the island, by smoke in the daytime, and fire at night, would signal the number of ships on the sea. As soon as the seutinels in Ece Ova recieved these messages, they would relay signals to the Rumeli coast and in this way, news would reach Kostantaniyye (Istanbul) in an hour's time. After Konstantin this system of communication continued for a long time. But one day, Venetian ships somehow got a chance, took the island, and occupied it until the reign of Fatih S. Mehmet. After conquering Egriboz, Fatih Sultan Mehmet (Mehmet the Conqueror) took Imroz. Now the island has two fortresses It is a prosperous place. One of these fortress is called Iskinet. It is on a rock, in the middle of the island, far from the shore. The second fortress is called imroz. It is built on a high rock on the sea, looking north. At the foot of this fortress in front of the vi- neyards, there is small bay. The sentinels who are going to the fortress are landed here. It is an open bay and large ships do not anchor. The circumference of the island is 50 miles. The island is a long mountain, the west .is low, the east is high. There is a promontory here, they call it Kefalos Burnu. The Ece Ova coast in Rumeli is 15 miles from this promontory. The tip of the promontory is shallow. One must beware. On the southern side there is a place called Komur Limani (coal harbour). It is a safe place when the winds blow from the north but when it blows from the south one should be careful. From the Komiir Limani to Aynaroz the sea is shallow for about 5 miles. When a ship sails on these shallow waters on a clear day, the bottom can be seen. So let it be known."
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In her "Blue Voyage" Azra Erhat writes about Gokceada:
"In the depths of the sea, on the cliff
Between Tenedos and craggy Imbros
There is a cave, wide, gaping.
Poseidon who made the earth tremble
Stopped the horses there".
...........................................HOMER
Going from Bozcaada to Imroz is not an easy journey, especially when travelling by our boat "UCARI". The local fishermen advised us that it was best "to take the road at midnight when the wind died down". It was decided that we would go directly to Seddulbahir and cross to Imroz from there, with the north wind behind us. If we were lucky we would reaclrthe other shore in five or six hours. However, our captain decided against sailing on unknown waters at night so our departu- re was delayed until 4 am. Like Akhas we avoided going to Troy via Tenedos, crossing the battle field and climbing up to castle. It was difficult enough to beat the everyday difficulties. The engine of Ucan broke down. Because of the big waves the pump didn't function. We anchored at sea in a vain attempt to repair the pump. We Landed and tried again without success. The captain found a temporary solution, by emptying buckets of seawater on the engine. We continued our journey with the engine emitting billows of smoke from time to time. It was a hard and difficult journey and the travellers endured it with rising tension! On the high seas of the Dardanelles two large ships blocked our way, and we had to stop their great shadows passed us not caring us at all. We took shelter in Seddulbahir. While we had breakfast, the pump was mended. We finally reached Imroz at around 12 without any further drama. Some acquintences, were there to meet us. One of them, a German instructor of Literature and Art Faculty had rented a house on the beach. He ran out to the harbour as soon as he saw us. Our first view of the island was one of the imposing cliffs along its shoreline (Homeros too in his Iliad talks about the stiff cliffs, the palace of Poseidon at the depts of the sea). Therefore, as we entered the harbour we were surprised to see a beautiful beach. Behind this lay a green valley and two hills with a small village of clean white houses on one of the hillsides. It was a lively beach with an hotel, cabins and restaurants under trellis. And, what's more, there were minibuses to carry travellers! We hadn't seen such livliness since we iyit Ayvalik. Our German friend praised it continuely. It was such a beautiful spot and yet it was as if we saw it for the first time. After a swim we sat in a beach restaurant. Old Barba Manol, the coffee house owner Kozma greeted us. The fountain behind the church flowed warm with a pleasing sound, and we washed our heads immediately. We chatted with the many madames from Istanbul. O! What a delightful, comfortable place it was! That night. I climbed to Tepekoy alone to watch the sunset. It was only a village, but such a rare one. It was clean, orderly and neat. There were healthy children with pink and white complexion, well fed chickens in pens, and the cats were fatter than the ones in Istanbul. Two young girls sat under a ruined castle watching the scene. Peasants returned to their homes in the evening and a youngster with a mandolin under his arm climbed the hill chatting and laughing with his young female campanion. That evening the restaurant was full. At tables near us the women embroidered, knitted and sang. They sang beautifully in boti Greek and Turkish. There was no coquetry involved but they sang all we requested. Our applause was endless. Nevertheless, our turn came and there were those among us who could sing, Leyla and Vartan. We said "Come on, guys, it's our turn." but they were shy. we couldn't get a united voice. Our first song got very little applause. Melih (Cevdet Anday) said: "We can't get hold in that island, Let's go another one." And everybody laughed. We enjoyed ourselves until late hours. It was the most amusing night of our trip. If you want to stay in one of the hotels, there was fresh milk and eggs. The central town was similar to one in the south of France. There was a photographer and a gift shop selling nice things like postcards, candy, wooden carvings, almond fondants, almond oil, embroideries, and bracelets. There was great demand for the work of my friend §adiye Erdolen who made reproductions of the porttery found in Dardanelles excavations. August is the fair month in Imroz. Every Sunday there is a festival in one of the villages. We spent our last Sunday at Derekoy. During the church ceremony boys and girls collected money for the construction of a new highschool. You dropped your money on a tray and girls attached a flower to your collor. The trays overflowed with banknotes. The literary rate on Imroz is 60% Like the other villages Derekoy had a primary school and that day they must have gathered hundreds of lira for the secondary school. There was a fountain beside the church. The fountains were large, cavelike buildings and everyday a few landladies washed linen there in warm water. That day they were cooking meat-veal soup, at the eight fireplaces of the fountain, for their guests. After the religious service the villagers went home, and the visitors retired to the coffehouses and restaurants in the village square. The soup and bread were distributed freely. They begged us to stay for the evening to watch the plays. But we couldn't stay because we had to take Ucari in Canakkale that night. But we had had enough. Imroz is a happy island, the unknown, happy island praised in the ancient texts- Why is Imroz a happy place? We discussed this quesnon many times. There were no rich exploitation like in Bozcaada. Instead there were middle class people of peasant origin. Most of them worked in Istanbul and the rest worked in the islandland. The soil wasn't as fertile as in other places, but the people still managed to make a living. Some had emigrated further than Istanbul - to America and even to Congo. They were leaving but considered the island their home and would return home for holidays or to marry on the island. I met a family who had emigrated to the Congo. Five people had just returned from there. These people were sanding money home if their parents were living, or else they gave financial assistance to the church and school. They were not alienated from the island. Let me talk about the priest of Bademlikoy. He is 70 years old now. He emigrated to America. When he was in his prime, and earned a lot of money as a typesetter. He returned to Imroz to marry and then went back to America, had children, and became richer. One summer when they returned on holiday to the island, the village priest had died and there was a new primary school without a teacher. The villagers said to their American friend "You're the most intelligent person among us, so don't leave here. Become our teacher and our priest. The man thought about it and the idea became irresistable. He went to Fener, Istanbul, and became educated for the priesthood. Now, he's the village priest who speaks 5 languages and is a kin'd and friendly man. His friend Melih said to him "Father, the young generation does not come to church". "They don't, but it's no offence, they're young", he replied. When we reached Badem- likoy his wife was washing the linen, having her work, she sent her daughter to get cold water from the fountain to make sherbet for us. Most of the "Blue Voyagers" weren't wearing shirts but the couple took no offence. We rested there for a while and then departed.

 

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Gökçeada@2016
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