Brief Info On The Islands


Adali OlmakGONZALO: Had I plantation of this isle, my lord,
ANTONIO:He’ld sow’t with nettle-seed.
SEBASTIAN: Or docks, or mallows.
GONZALO: And were the king on’t, what would I do?
SEBASTIAN: Scape being drunk for want of wine
GONZALO: I’ the commonwealth I would by contraries Execute all things; for no?kind of traffic Would I admit; no name of magistrate; Letters should not be known; riches, poverty, And use of service, none; contract, succession, Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none; No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil; No occupation; all men idle, all; And women too, but innocent and pure; No sovereignty.

The Tempest



Automotive transport is banned at the Islands, except for a few municipal vehicles. Otherwise the only means of transport on Burgazada, Heybeliada and Büyükada is by fayton, or horse-drawn carriage, while on Kınalıada one must either walk or ride a bicycle.



"Nature, insatiable in giving, has diversified the capital not only with the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, but with the tiny archipelago of the Princes’ Isles. More than Ischia and Capri are to Naples, are Khalki, Prinkipo and their sister islands to Constantinople.

Nothing more ideal can be pictured than the loveliness of these islands in May and June. The hills are covered with pine forests, and the meandering shores are indented with shaded and sequestered bays.

Edwin Grosvenor -1895


Sunset on the Islands“The sea, at a far away shore was set ablaze like a crimson bouquet. I have carved all the details in my mind with a strange intuition. A cutter with pale yellow sails adorned this view for an instance. Then that cruiser sailed out of the sea burning up in flames, and disappeared into the blue.

The colors blazed for the last time, and the sun charred for the last time. The mansions midst of their gardens glowed with the last rays, looking more like fake showpiece cakes on pastry shop windows. The walls of the gardens were low and painted in whitewash.”

The mimosa, silk trees, exuberant hibiscuses on the ramps of the Island hills created an extraordinary shower of reverie. And all surrendered their yellow, pale pink, white and purple flowers to the light breeze.”

Selim İleri,
Fantasy and Pain


Secluded Life, Inaccessibility

“Because I live a total secluded life on top of a mountain, visiting my house cannot be compared to visits in the city. Therefore I see it necessary to make some explanation: Th real door of the residence is on the west side; but it is kept locked with chains because it is located at a spot where even goats would have trouble climbing. We opened a henhouse door on the east side, so we enter and exit from there. However there is neither a door bell nor a knocker... Neither a bell nor a rattle... One must pick up a large rock and start hitting as hard as possible until the door wears down with the thought that it has a penance to pay. Because there isn’t a person inside that can hear the first knocks. Some visitors head back without being able to make themselves heard; I have benefited from this primitive deaf door considering my asocial life.”

From the letter of Hüseyin Rahmi sent to Refik Ahmet Sevengil



Adalar'da GezintiOne day the weather was really hot, we were staying on the island with my five year old daughter Rüya and we decided?to go sightseeing on a horse drawn buggy.?I sat backwards in the carriage and my daughter right in front of me. She would be facing the direction we were heading. We passed through gardens with flowers, low walls, wooden houses and vegetable gardens. I was looking at the facial expressions of my daughter as the carriage pattered on, wondering what she saw in the world...

Things, objects, trees, walls, posters, writings, streets, cats. Asphalt. Hot. As hot as it can be...

We went through the forest but the forest wasn’t cool either. It was like as if heat was coming out of it. The horses really slowed down as the hill began to become steeper.

We could hear the crickets. The carriage was going really slow and the path became very narrow by the pines, then suddenly we saw a view.”

The driver said ‘Brrrs’ and the horses stopped. He said ‘Let them rest’.

We stopped and enjoyed the scenery... There was a cliff at our side. And below were rocks, the sea, and the other islands buried inside a mist.”

Orhan Pamuk,
Other Colours


A Day In The Island

“The sun had descended more now, and the seagulls are singing like crazy, cormorants are getting out of the water and flapping their wings like crazy to accelerate. The sea is still calm besides the waves hitting the shores of Sivriada just ahead.

We row towards Sivri and land the boat on the shore with peeblestone (...) A single small purple light is ecstatically dancing on the bay. And then it gets dark. The lighthouse of Yassıada starts to operate and sparkles?once in every two minutes. A sail has set sail, coming from a distance.

First of all we slurp the sea urchins. Karayan puts a can on top of the rocks surrounding the fire, scrubs the fish with oil and garlic, stuffs the fresh fennel in their stomachs and lies them down on the heated can. A strong sizzle is heard.”



Kınalıada Exile

Romanus IV Diogenes (r. 1067-71) was deposed in 1071 after his catastrophic defeat by the Seljuk Turks at the battle of Manzikert. His successor, Michael VII Doucas (r. 1071-8), blinded Romanus and exiled him to the monastery of the Transfiguration on Proti, where he died on 4 August 1072.



August 11th 2005, Thursday, 06.35
İstanbul from a thin, long and wooden balcony.

June 25th, around 07.00
I could not tell if it was the sunlight that woke me up this morning, or the crazy chorus practice of seagulls.

July 19th, 07.30
A walk in the afternoon and one at?night is both unusual and natural, and this enabled us to load the two islands, and the inner impressions generated from the two islands on to our scales.

September 3rd, 07.00
In the end we stayed, delaying the?return to this evening – it is good that we did so: putting aside the rheumatism pains that are driving me crazy; we spent another wonderful day on the island. October

October 14th, 07.50
Island = Isola. At last, the island is left to the islanders.

Enis Batur,
The Island Notebooks



When Ahmet Rasim’s wife was seeing him off on the morning following a night of turning up late, she asked him not to be late saying, “Mind you don’t be late, I can’t take it anymore, be here before the night falls”. On the island ferry Rasim wrote lyrics for his wife’s complaint and his friend Tatyos Efendi composed this unforgettable song:

“Come before nightfall?Be early, don’t be late?I cannot stand it anymore Be early, don’t be late”



If you were to pass by the shore of Kumkapı
a) you would dream of having a delicious fish meal
b) you would want to walk on water to the Islands
c) you would think how fast life goes by
d) you would remember you owed Agop five lira




Sunset“From whom did the kid from Kars hear this song; from where, when did he learn it, I don’t know...

But even when half a century and another ten years has passed, I still remember it like it was today, murmuring the song ‘I Am Waiting On The Shores of The Island’ in tears, sitting against the sunset on the wide, concrete old window of the Club Birlik, that’s still in its proper place today at the point where our house was where Halit Paşa Street and Atatürk Street intersects...

What was it in the song that affected me? Is it the tune that I still love today??Is it the touching lyrics??Is it the tremendous sunset that fades from red to pink?”

Ataol Behramoğlu,
My Princes’ Islands



“It was a very hot summer day, a terribly hot day; I could not manage to sleep at home. There were wooden benches in the garden, I quickly went to one of them. I realized that my father was lying down on one of them; it was obvious that he couldn’t sleep either. ‘Is that you, girl?’ he said, ‘Come and lie down.’ We watched the stars together, me on one bench and my father on the other. My father began to talk about the stars, he told me their Persian names, and explained endlessly their paths.”

From the memoirs of Ela Güntekin



“In my childhood, Nizam Street was considered to be one of the most elegant and European styled vicinity of Büyükada, and was also one of the relatively more liberated places in İstanbul. Lined up on this road,?in small and large gardens, were luxurious mansions belonging to wealthy families local and foreign, whom people always talked about and whose names turned up in the papers daily. Mansions, one more beautifully adorned and spectacular than the other... So much so that, as you walked pass by them the street seemed to allude to a more delicate and more nonchalant state at every step."

Abdülhak Şinasi Hisar,
Ali Nizami Bey’s Occidentalism and Sheikhdom



Purple Bunch“We finally rented a house and went to Burgaz. The house had an old style and a wide sofa, wisteria and a garden covered with roses and honeysuckles. Life totally changed for me there. I felt as if I was living in the house in Beşiktaş. It was situated on top of?a steep slope. The facade of the house was covered in pines all the way to the sea, and sandy beach below. I used to gaze at the blue sea from its windows.

I went there sick, but found my spiritual balance as well as physical. I lived among?the beauty and daily pleasures given to man through nature. In the mornings, the kids with their nanny and I with the cook; we would climb up to the pine groove on top?of donkeys, and I used to eat, drink and virtually live there all day long.”

Halide Edip Adıvar,
The House With Purple Wisteria, (Memoirs of Halide Edip)


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