top of page
  • Writer's pictureYaman

Istanbul Encyclopedia Reşad Ekrem Koç Burgaz Island Article

Istanbul Encyclopedia of Reşad Ekrem Koçu, who remained incomplete in volume 11 and article G in 1973,

Nowadays, it is aimed to be revived by a project in partnership with SALT Research and Kadir Has University. Burgaz Island, which is ranked first among the Princes' islands alphabetically, had the chance to take place in the sixth of the completed volumes. Below you can find the full text of the article Burgaz Island.

Burgaz Adasının Kınalı'dan görünüşü (Resim:Hüsnü)
View of Burgaz Island from Kınalı (Drawing: Hüsnü)

Its ancient name is “Antigoni”; The “Red Islands” are the second of the islands in Istanbul, which are called “Islands”, and that western authors also call “Prince Islands” and are lined across Maltepe and Kartal villages on the Anatolian side.

It is one of the two districts of Island District of Istanbul Province in the division of civil administration; Burgaz subdistrict is also two neighborhoods, one neighborhood is exquisite, Burgaz Island and the other neighborhood is Kınalı Island.

It is 17 kilometers from Galata Bridge; length is 1900, width is 1300 meters, survey is 1.5 km2; There is a 700 meters wide strait between Heybeli Island. The name Burgaz is given by the Turks in favor of the ancient tower mentioned by the Piri Reis in the Kitabül Bahriye book, Piri Reis records this name as "Burgazlı". 40°52'30"N and 29°04'00"E. Its shape is close to a rectangle and its highest place above sea level is 535 feet; It is surrounded by deep water due to the furnace. At its summit, there is a pine forest on the eastern and ridges on the southern, where there is a monastery sanctified by Hristos. Other parts are rocky and bare. There is a sharp split in the south and it is 500 feet high. Even in the eastern side and right in the town's south, the rocky groyne came out from the beach to one cable and protected the pier from the winds of the southwester (lodos). At the end of this croyne, a red flashing lantern with a white whitewash is placed. There are ten, twenty five and thirty feet high individual rocks in various places near the seaside in the south resort.

In 1962, the local population of Burgaz Island was 500 people, mostly fishermen, 2000-2500 people came to rest in the summer months, the town was 1000, and those who came to the summer stay in the houses by renting a room. For some local families, boarding summer house was a means of livelihood in the summer. According to the 1934 Municipal City Guide, the streets of the island are: Burgaz Çayırı (Meadow) Street, Burgaz Çarşı (Bazaar) Street, Burgaz Mezarlık (Graveyard) Street, Büyük Çam Mevkii (Big Pine), Çakıl Taşı (Pebble Stone) Street, Çayır Aralığı (Meadow Passageway) Street, Çınarlık (Plane Trees) Street, Gezinti (Tour) Street, Gönüllü (Lover or Volunteer) Street, Hindli (Indian) Mevkii, Kış Bağçesi (Winter Garden) Street, Mehtab (Moonlight) Street, Sarnık Street, Yalı Aralığı (Mansion Passageway) Street, Yenice (Newish) Street, Yeni Yalı (New Mansion) Street, Gökdemir Street, Takım Ağası (Aga of Team) Square, Burgaz Mezarlık (Graveyard) Street, Köy Kahyası (Village Housekeeper) Street, Kesikçınar (Cut Plane Tree) Passegeway. The new roads that are not included in the mentioned Guide are: Kaptanlar (Captains) Street, Ecmel Street, Cennet Yolu (Paradise Way), Burgaz Cami (Mosque) Street, Abası Yanık Square. This last name was given to the storyteller and poet Said Faik Abasıyanık, who lives on this island.

The settlement of the Turks in Burgaz started after the Republican era, therefore, until the last years, there were no mosques and masjids on this island, the first mosque was built in 1954 with the help of the municipality and the people, and its official appearance was on July 24 of that year. There are three Greek Orthodox churches; Ayios Ioanis, Ayios Yorgios and Hiristos-Monastery churches on the hill, Hiristos Church are opened only for funerals, and the island's Greek orthodox cemetery is also there. It has a pharmacy, the dental doctor comes in the summer. The bazaar grows in summer, it shrinks in winter, 3 butchers (one permanent), 4 grocery stores (all permanent), 4 greengrocers (one permanent), 2 barbers (one permanent), 4 female barbers (all summer), 4 coffee houses (three permanent), 3 casinos (one permanent and touristy), 2 restaurants (permanent)

The sub-district directorate, a police commissioner affiliated with the Büyük Ada (Prinkipo) police chief, the head of the municipal police and P.T.T. (Post Office) has a branch. A public telephone was placed opposite the post office. Telegrams are given to Büyük Ada (Prinkipo) telegraph station by phone. There is a package store where alcohol, cigarette etc. sold.

It has an Austrian Saint-Georges Hospital and School, and a farm-like garden with it; the establishment also has a small catholic church; Vegetables needed by the hospital were grown in the garden, and there was a cow barn in the islands and the institution would supply its own milk before municipal prohibiting feeding of cattle. There are up to ten nuns in the hospital and several nuns for outside services and gardening.

There is a Jewish orphanage, in the summer, about 50 poor Jewish children are housed, providing everything.

In 1962, Dursun, İsmail, Mehmed, and Mimi had 4 flower vineyards, especially beautiful carnations were grown.

There are 5 carriages, 5 freight cars, 5 donkeys for tour, and 30-40 freighters on the island.

There is official primary school with 5 classes and a private Greek primary school with 6 classes. The new boarding Turkish primary school has not been opened to education yet. On this island, a rest house is opened for teachers in summer, resting for fifteen days with rotation for a fee. There is a pastry and bakery, but there is no oven in bakery, its bread comes from Kınalı island and is sold in a bakery shop. The fire brigade is connected to the district and consists of 7 motopump and 2 water tanks in one sergeant commander and 19 crew members.

Burgaz Island Port was considered to be the sea survival station of the district. A captain and a dockman were in Burgaz Island for this purpose, but it has been learned that they have been spending their time in coffeehouse for years since the motorboat has not been given yet.

The island has 6 fishing boats, the fish caught are taken to the Istanbul Fishhouse. The fishermen, who represent the majority of the local population, go out to the fish with caicques and cockboats.

Drinking water is brought from Beykoz or Çubuklu by Nasib Caiptan with his own boat. It benefits from cisterns in public homes. In addition, the water brought by the large water vessel by the Denizcilik Bank to the big cistern is discharged with hose, and it is sold with donkeys. The fee changes depending on the destination. The electric scomes from Pendik to a communications center by cable. Along the beach, Gezinti Street, Çamlık, flower vineyards, İsâ Hill (Hiristos) beach, Kalpazan Rock are places to visit. According to the rumor, the first coin money in Istanbul was made in the Kalpazan Rock in Burgaz Island.

Transferring the ancient history of Burgaz Island, we get the following lines from Byzantine scholar Gustave Schlumberger:

“While Burgaz is a rocky and poor island, it is more crowded than Kınalı. The pier in the bay is surrounded by more houses, which constitute a true small city. Its ancient name is Antigoni; its name was Panorme. The name of Antigoni must have been given relative to the name of the famous Antigonos, the general of Alexander. Demetrios Poliyarket, the son of this person, wanted to eternate his father's name when he came to the Sea of ​​Marmara 298 years before the fight to fight with the Thracian Lizimahos and Macedonian Kassandros in order to obtain the freedom and empire of the world.

“The slope of Burgaz, which is bare on the southern side but the side overlooking Marmara, is covered with greenery; the steamer passes in front of a large monastery built especially in a new era, before it comes to the town's first homes. This monastery, which was built near Ayios Yorgios in a location more or less close to the seaside, is a foundation of the famous Peloponnese Monastery. Peloponnese Monastery, Megaspileon, is the priest on Patrasda Kalavrita road; This monastery takes its name from the meaning of the “Big Cave” from the large underground ward where it is located. A spiritual officer of the monk at the Megaspileon Monastery is obliged to operate this mansion in Burgaz Island. Monk societies no longer exist in Prince Islands. The beautiful monasteries of Heybeliada have been transformed into religious schools belonging to the rum community, and monasteries on all other islands have also become the foundation of the great visits to the Greeks. Their buildings were dwelled into the houses rented by most modest bourgeois layer families. The land around the monasteries is planted under the supervision of the monks centerally assigned.

“On the pyramid-shaped summit of Burgaz, a large Transfiguration monastery was found, as in Kinali Island, but was destroyed in the conquest of Istanbul. The massive ruins of this building remained until a few years ago, and it displayed a beautiful view over that high point of the island. An old hero of the Greek independence drawn to this island, in an unnecessary effort, removed these ruins and replaced with a small place of worship with no character. Reportedly, the emperor who founded the old monastery was Macedonian Vasil. This ruler, the murderer of the Third Mihailos, has done great public works in his country. During the period of the splendid that coincided with the end of the ninth century, Istanbul changed completely and more than a hundred churches, hospitals, monasteries, public buildings were built by Vasilios. In order to forgive the sin of the murder, this man constantly tried to lay the foundations of religious construction, thereby keeping the victim's dream out of sight.

“The most famous of the victims who caused Burgaz Island to become famous is the patriarch Metodios, which is called “The Confessor”. This person was brought up to the level of saints by the Greek Church due to the creepy tortures suffered. Metodios was a member of a noble race and was born in Syracian Sicily. He came to Istanbul, where his young sons flocked to the palace, where he met a man with a spirit of merit.

This man persuaded him to enter the monastery by gifting all his wealth to the poor. During the time of the Emperor Armenian Leon, who was iconoclast, Metodios retreated to Italy. Following the Emperor's murder and Keke Mihailos's enemy, the ministers were called back, "anti-iconoclastics"; In this sense, Metodios, who was a letter to the new ruler of the Pope in Rome, returned to Istanbul. It soon became clear that, despite the promises that Mihalios gave, he was also an iconoclast like his successor. He took Metodios by whipping it for seven hundred times, and his supporters were subjected to brutal torture. They wrote their curses on their foreheads with hot iron, and took Metodios to Burgaz Island in a half-dead condition. They locked him with two bandits in a sarcophagus in the form of a stone cage, which had previously been used as a grave. Rumor has it that the poor man lived in hell for seven years. But it is hard to believe it. A legend tells in a legendary way that a miserable fisherman brought every week the olive oil needed to light a tiny oil lamp in that indescribable cell; fishermen could not come for a week, angels brought oil of oil lamp.

“Metodios died in glory and honor in the patriarchate after the Orthodox triumphed on iconoclast. He remained a memory from Burgaz Island; It is the small Ayios Ioanis Church that Burgaz Greeks still use as worship. This church belongs to a very old time. It was built at the site of the sarcophagus, where Metodius had suffered.

"A monastery was built next to it, today only a cistern has left from this monastery." (G. Schlumberger, Istanbul Islands; Naci Yüngül translation, Ist. 1937).

Istanbul Encyclopedia Reşad Ekrem Koç Burgaz Island Article - first page
Istanbul Encyclopedia Reşad Ekrem Koç Burgaz Island Article - second & third pages
Istanbul Encyclopedia Burgaz Island Article fourth page

2 views0 comments


bottom of page