Greeks of Marmara in Burgazada

The photo that Spiros Teofanidis shared on Facebook about the Greeks of Marmara Island reminded me of the article published in Adalı Magazine about the same photo in the past days. Another link has been added to the chain of sharing that I have made over and over again in 1927. Let's find out what happened in Burgazada in 1927 from the article below that I quoted from the 173rd issue of Adalı Magazine, published in November 2019.


Greeks of Marmara in Burgazada, 1 August 1936 (Theofanidis archive)

Greeks from Marmara in Burgazada


Author: Ioannis Papachristou

Turkish translation: Mehmet Akif Yildirim


The Greeks of Marmara, Ekinlik, Avşa and Paşalimanı had to leave their homes and all their other properties in early October 1922 (10-15 October), exactly one month after the Greek army's withdrawal from Anatolia and the Izmir fire. However, some Greek families living and working in Marmara and Istanbul since the late 19th and early 20th centuries were excluded from the population exchange in the Lausanne Treaty signed between Greece and Turkey in 1923. Thus, 125 island Greek families remained within the strong Marmara Greek community currently located in Fener, Balat, Galata and Beyoğlu.


The Hagia Timotheos icon in the Agia Yorgi Karipi Monastery (Papachristou archive)

One of these families was the family of Spiros Theofanus (also known as Kalosundan), who settled in Galata and was from the village of Gündoğdu (Prastio) of Marmara Island. In 1927, Spiros' son Theofanis Theofanidis donated the icon of Aya Timotheos, Archbishop of Prokonisos, to the Aya Yorgi Karipi (17th century) Monastery in Burgazada. This icon, drawn by the Marmaraian Konstantinos Dimarhopulos in the 1910s, was located in the Aya Timotheos Monastery, which is celebrated by the Marmara people as the Aya Timotheos day on 1 August every year, above the Topağaç (Klazaki) village. While Aya Timotheos is depicted on a throne in the icon, the fertile valley and coast of Topağaç can be seen just below the icon, as well as the Aya Timotheos Monastery located above the village. Protected by the villagers of Prastio, the icon was later brought to Istanbul. Theofanis Theofanidis organized a trip and fair for the first time to the Aya Yorgi Karipi Monastery in Burgazada with the Marmara, Ekinlik and Paşalimanı Greeks living in Istanbul in 1927 and celebrated the Aya Timotheos day, which their families had celebrated on the Marmara Island for centuries, in this monastery, in the new location of the icon. This tradition, which started in Burgazada and continues until today, is repeated on August 1 every year. On August 1, 2019, I was in the monastery with other people from Marmara, Ekinlik and Burgaz, who have been continuing this tradition for 92 years without interruption and passion.

I met with visitors.


Depiction of Marmara-Topağaç (Klazaki) and Aya Timotheos Monastery under the icon of Aya Timotheos (Papachristou archive)

The Greeks of Marmara in Burgazada, 1 August 1936 (Theofanidis archive) version 2

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