- G Ö K Ç E A D A - I M B R O S

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About Gökçeada
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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
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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