The forgotten islands of Turkey: Marmara

In the Sea of Marmara lies the Island of Marmara, unfettered and nearly forgotten, it remains an authentic safe haven away from tourists, touristic things; yet full of a tourist’s dreams When you ask people about the islands in Turkey, they generally come up with just two or three islands: Bozcaada, Gökçeada and the Prince’s Islands. But Turkey has some more islands and all of them are worthwhile paying a visit to. In the Sea of Marmara, you can find Avşa, Paşalimanı and Marmara, three islands that are hardly visited by tourists. The few tourists who do visit the islands generally go there between June and August; after that, the islands are for the locals again. Do not expect big five star hotels here or fast food chains, this is still a place that can and has to be discovered. You can go to the island of Marmara via Erdek near Bandırma and get the ferry from there, but IDO also sails every day from Yenikapı to Marmara (according to their information).

The most popular and biggest of the three islands is the island of Marmara with a history of over 6,000 years. Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans once lived on this island and the main reason for them was, as you might guess, the incredible amount of marble. Before the mübadele (population exchange – when the Turkish minority living in Greece and the Greece minority living in Turkey had to go back to “their country of origin”), Rum, Turkish and Jewish people were living on this island side by side. After the mübadele, people from Crete, Trabzon and Rize replaced the Rum Orthodox minority that had to leave the island.

Unfortunately, not many of the old houses remain; a big earthquake in 1935 destroyed most of the old...

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