Fouilltes de Sagalassos

Gökçeada, an ancient Greek island at the end of Dardanelles

on 05/12/2012


           Gökçeada is the largest island in Turkey at 111 square miles  and is located at the end of Dardanelles, the strait connecting Sea of Marmara to the Aegean Sea.

When it belonged to Greece the former name was Imroz , derived from Imbrasos, the Greek god of fertility. Poseidon, god of the sea, has chosen to live on this island in a palace he had built for his wife Amphritite.


House in Gökçeada

It is archeologically proven  that in 2000 BC, Imroz was already inhabited.

After being conquered by the Roman Empire in 193, Gökçeada is incorporated into the Ottoman Empire by Mehmet II the Conqueror in 1456. The Treaty of Lausanne signed in July 1923 states that this island and Bozcaada, her neighbor, are integrated back to Turkish territory.

Cyprus events cause the flight of most Greeks living there and the Orthodox population decreased from about 5500 in the 1960s to 492 today.

The various villages have kept the scars of this difficult period. Houses are abandoned and a very strange ghostly vision gives the impression that there is still life there.

The center of the island gravitates to Panaghia which includes about 7,000 people. It is a place of passage to reach up to 10 other villages, in which five were home to the Greek community and the other five were founded  by the Turkish state between 1973 and 1984.

The vegetation is abundant, as is the production of fruits and vegetables in the countless gardens as well as production of olive oil, pine and thyme infused honey. Residents also produce a nice local wine.

Goats and sheep, horses and mules are also part of the landscape.

Gökçeada is definitely a place where peace and authenticity lovers will find their happiness. There are numerous  family pensions offering a warm welcome like everywhere in Turkey.

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