Bozcaada island in Turkey


Bozcaada, formerly known as Tenedos, is the third largest island of Turkey with an area of 39 km² / 15 mi² and is located in the Aegean Sea. Its population is around 3 thousand but it reaches 10 thousand during summer months with vacationers. There is a regular ferry service to the island from Geyikli pier near Çanakkale. There are many restaurants and small hotels in the center of the town, where you can have some fresh fish dishes and seafood appetizers accompanied by raki. Bozcaada is also known for Grape Harvest festival held every year in the first week of September.

According to the excavations carried out in the necropolis area, the history of the island dates back to 3000 B.C. Most probably its inhabitants in chronological order were Pelasgians, Phoenicians, Athenians, Greeks, Persians, Alexander the Great, Byzantines, Genoese, Venetians and Ottomans.

The Greeks used the island as a base during the Trojan War. Herodotus mentions Tenedos frequently in his books. It's believed that some of the Aeolyans living on the island of Lesbos settled here. After the Ionian uprising, the island came under the rule of the Persians and then the Romans. After the disintegration of the Roman Empire, it remained within the borders of the Byzantine Empire.

Umur Bey, a Turkish mariner of the Aydinogullari Principality, after conquering Izmir he came to Bozcaada under Byzantine rule with his fleet in 1328 and plundered it. During this period, the Venetians and the Genoese entered into competition to take over the island as a useful resource for their commercial activities. In 1377, the Byzantine emperor gave the island to Venice in exchange for military aid. When Genoa reacted to this, a conflict broke out between two States but they made a treaty in Turin in 1381, agreeing to evacuate the island and neutralize it. The island remained uninhabited for a long time.

The sultan Mehmet II captured Bozcaada, along with Gokceada, in 1455 and built a castle here. During this period, the Ottoman Navy used the island as a supply base. The island changed hands between the Venetians and the Ottomans a couple of times in the 15th century due to its strategic importance. It was also the scene of the Ottoman-Venetian War of 1645-1669, which broke out due to the Crete island issue.

During the Ottoman-Russian War between 1806-1812, Bozcaada was occupied by Russia in 1807, burned and its castle was completely destroyed. Then, after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the 1912 Balkan War, it came under the control of Greece. During the Battle of Gallipoli the island was occupied by the forces of the United Kingdom and France and was used for logistical support. Finally, Bozcaada was left to the Republic of Turkey with the Treaty of Lausanne signed on July 24, 1923.

Sigths to visit on the island are; Bozcaada castle, vineyards, historical churches, monasteries, and mosques. Some of the best beaches to swim or for a leisure day are; Ayazma beach, Sulubahçe, Habbele beach, and Akvaryum bay. It's also a sailing paradise for sailors due to its windy sea.