Photographer's Note

Green vs. Concrete

I think that's the biggest problem everywhere in the world. And it is very obvious when you stand at one of the lungs of Istanbul, the Prince's Islands and look to the mainland. It's a sad view!

The green area you see in the foreground is part of the biggest island in that group, the Büyükada. The coastal line around Maltepe is seen in the background.

from Wikipedia:

The Princes' Islands
(Turkish: Kızıl Adalar (Red Islands) or more commonly Adalar (Islands) as they are officially named; classical Greek: Prinkēpōn nēsoi, Πριγκήπων νήσοι, modern Greek: Prinkiponisia, Πριγκηπονήσια), are a chain of nine islands off the coast of Istanbul, Turkey, in the Sea of Marmara. These islands are Büyükada (Greek: Prinkipo, "Πρίγκηπος" meaning "Prince") with an area of 5.36 km², Heybeliada (Greek: Halki) with an area of 2.4 km², Burgazada (Greek: Antigoni) with an area of 1.5 km², Kınalıada (Greek: Proti, Πρώτη, meaning "The First", being the closest island to Istanbul) with an area of 1.3 km², Sedef Adası (Greek: Terebinthos) with an area of 0.157 km², Yassıada (Greek: Plati) with an area of 0.05km², Sivriada (Greek: Okseia) with an area of 0.05km², Kaşık Adası with an area of 0.006 km², and Tavşan Adası with an area of 0.004 km².

During the summer months the Princes’ Islands are popular destinations for day trips from Istanbul. As there is no traffic on the Islands, the only transport being horse and cart, they are incredibly peaceful compared with the city of Istanbul. They are just a short ferry ride from both the Asian (at Bostancı and also Kartal) and European sides (from Sirkeci/Eminönü, Kabataş and Yenikapı) of Istanbul. Most ferries call in turn at the four largest of the nine islands: Kınalıada, Burgazada, Heybeliada and finally Büyükada. Ferry services are provided by Istanbul Seabuses (İDO), a firm operated by the municipality of Istanbul. In spring and autumn the islands are quieter and more pleasant, although the sea can be rough in late autumn and winter.

During the Byzantine period, princes and other royalty were exiled on the islands, and later members of the Ottoman sultans family were exiled there too, lending the islands their present name. During the 19th century the islands became a popular resort for Istanbul's wealthy, and Victorian era cottages and houses are still preserved on the largest of the Princes' islands.

The Princes' Islands have become more and more ethnically Turkish in character due to the influx of wealthy Turkish jetsetters, a process which began in the first days of the Turkish Republic when the British Yacht Club on Büyükada was appropriated as Anadolu Kulübü, for Turkish parliamentarians to enjoy Istanbul in the summer. However, the Greek, Armenian and Jewish communities still constitute a small part of the islands' population. The islands are an interesting anomaly because they allow us to have a rare and incomplete insight into a multicultural society in modern Turkey, possibly alike to the multicultural society that once existed during the Ottoman Empire in places such as nearby Istanbul/Constantinople

For many Turkish people the islands are fondly remembered as the home of football legend, Lefter Küçükandonyadis.


(Big Island - Prinkipos, Πρίγκιπος in Greek) is the largest of the nine islands consisting the Princes' Islands in the Marmara Sea, close to Istanbul.

As on the other islands, motorized vehicles – except service vehicles – are forbidden, so visitors explore the island by foot, bicycle, in horse-drawn carriages, or by riding donkeys.

A convent on Büyükada was the place of exile for the Byzantine empresses Irene, Euphrosyne, Theophano, Zoe and Anna Dalassena. After his deportation from the Soviet Union in February 1929, Leon Trotsky also stayed for four years on Büyükada, his first station in exile. Princess Fahrelnissa Zeid was born in the island.

There are several historical buildings on Büyükada, such as the Ayia Yorgi Church and Monastery dating back to the 6th century, the Ayios Dimitrios Church, and the Hamidiye Mosque built by Abdul Hamid II. Büyükada consists of two peaks. The one nearest to the iskele (ferry landing), Hristos, is topped by the former Greek Orphanage, a huge wooden building now in decay. In the valley between the two hills sit the church and monastery of Ayios Nikolaos and a former fairground called Luna Park. Visitors can take the 'small tour' of the island by buggy, leading to this point, from where it is an easy climb to Ayia Yorgi, a tiny church with a cafe on the grounds serving wine, chips and sausage sandwiches, this being part of the "classic" Ayia Yorgi (St. George, in Greek Άγιος Γεώργιος) experience.

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Additional Photos by Sayat Arslanlioglu (sayat) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 569 W: 4 N: 345] (2949)
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