Bozcaada ( Tenedos )

Bozcaada is a smallTurkish island in the province of Çanakkale in the Aegean Sea. It has a population of around 2,500 which swells enormously in the summer season as tourists and Turkish citizens with homes on the island arrive for the summer holidays.

The main income in Bozcaada is tourism but it is also known for its wine production and fishing. The island is shaped in a rough triangle and covers around 39 km2 or approx 15 square miles. It is situated close to the entrance of the Dardenelles opposite Troy and a local ferry service from Geyikli provides an hourly service during the busy summer months and a frequent service during the winter season. The crossing takes around half and hour.

The buildings on Bozcaada are generally of very good quality and the island has quite a varied terrain with several very good beaches. There is only one town in Bozcaada which you arrive in directly by ferry. The rest of the island is rural with hilly terrain and suitable for livestock such as goats and sheep as well as agriculture in the from of wheat fields, vineyards and olive trees. There is even a pine forest on the Western side of the island.

This was orginally a Greek settlement hence the name Tenedos. The island even gets a mention in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. During the period of the Ottoman Empire the island was used as a navy base and it was the first island to become Turkish in the Aegean Sea in 1455. The island has a chequered history of ownership and was a British supply base during the Gallipoli Campaign. Following World War I the island was formally handed over to Turkey under the Treaty of Lausanne to the new Turkish Republic in 1923.

Bozcaada Castle is one of the first things you see when you visit the island. Situated by the harbour it is an impressive structure with a history dating back to the Phoenicians. During Ottoman times Fatih Sultan Mehmet had the castle reconstructed and this is waht you see today. The Koprulu Mehmed Pasha Mosque from the 17th century is well worth a visit as is the Museum and its collection of artifacts and everyday items from Bozcaada.

Find out about the history of the island and the efforts of collector M Hakan Gureney to conserve the unique treasures of this beautiful little Aegean gem off the Turkish coast. ( www.bozcaadamuzesi.net )     Grape Harvest Festivities take place on the island on 26-27th July. Bozcaada is famous for its red poppies which are used to produce jams. The island is self sufficient in its energy requirements through the use of wind turbines.

Every Wednesday there is a large and busy market on the island which sells fresh local food produce, clothes and household items.

Website: http://www.bozcaada.gov.tr/

 

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Alexandria Troas

Alexandria Troas ( Alexandria of the Troad ) or Eski Stambul

Alexandria Troas is about 13km from Tavakli in Dalyan Village. This is the site of an ancient Greek city, situated on the Aegean Sea. It was founded in 306 BC by Antigoneia Monophthalmus, a commander serving under Alexander the Great. Although the original name was Antigonia it was re-named Alexandria Troas by Lysimachus.

Alexandria Troas is in the Ezine district in the province of Canakkale. It is very close to Troy, the town that was believed by many to have been the mother-city of Rome.

In its prime, granite columns were sent to Rome and other cities of the Roman Empire and this was one of the largest Greek cities ever to be established in Anatolia. It was one of the main ports of the region and at the height of its glory it may have had a population as high as 100,000.

Constantine had even considered making Troas the capital of the Roman Empire before deciding on Byzantium, later re-named Constantinople, modern day Turkey’s Istanbul.

During Roman times this port was visited by Paul of Tarsus and Ignatius of Antioch. Over years the importance of the city declined. Sometime during the Byzantine period the city was either destroyed or abandoned.

The Ottoman period saw Karasi Turkmens settling in the region during the 14th century. The ruins were known to locals as Eski Stambul ( Old City ) and much of the stones were re-used for building works elsewhere. It is well known that Mehmed IV took columns from this site for his Yeni Valide Mosque in Istanbul. During the 18th century the site became a hideout for bandits.

In more modern times the site became overgrown and covered in trees and grassland. Much of the stone has been removed. Some parts have been found in better order than others and the bath and gymnasium complex is known locally as the Bal Saray ( Honey Palace ). Excavations are taking place at the site.

Visitors can see the remains of several large structures such as the palace, temple, theatre and baths and more recently a stadium which has been uncovered. The site extends over an area of some 400 hectares ( 1,000 acres ). 

Open: 08:00 to 17:00 all year round