Did you ever notice the name of the street that cuts the fork in the road towards the mosque while you were walking on the Gezinti Street? Yelkenci (Sailor) Mehmet Sokak. Who is Yelkenci Mehmet? Is he really a good sailor enough to give the street his name? We satisfy our curiosity by learning the answers to these questions thanks to Dear Mustafa Sadıkoğlu (Özyelkenci) from Özyelkenci family and his archive. Many thanks to him for his contribution.
First of all, let's get to know Mustafa Sadıkoğlu (Özyelkenci). He was born in the 1950s and spent his childhood in Burgazada in the 1960s with his uncle Kemal Özyelkenci and his aunt Saime Özyelkenci. Mehmet Özyelkenci is his brother-in-law's father. Let's continue with the very important information that Mustafa Bey gave about Mehmet Özyelkenci; There is a compass and sailing shop in Perşembe Bazaar, he is among the founders of the Burgazada Mosque, one of Sait Faik's friends, and he owns the Şafak Casino, which is run by Ohannes and his wife, just below the mosque. Finally, we learn that the graves of the Özyelkenci family are in the old cemetery. Bless their souls.
On the subject of sailing, Mehmet Özyelkenci is a sailor who is known as "Sailman Mehmet Efendi" among the former islanders, from whom they learned a lot, and who knows "what sailing" means. According to what Mustafa Bey read in an Istanbul Yelkencilik magazine, "Sailors used to look at Mehmet Özyelkenci with binoculars from the balcony of their house in Burgazada on their way from Kınalı to Kaşık and Heybeli, and they were afraid that they would see their mistakes." At that time, there was even a trophy held in the name of Mehmet Özyelkenci at the Adalar Water Sports Club (A.S.S.K.).
In the photo below, Kemal Özyelkenci receives the trophy that was organized in the name of his father Mehmet Özyelkenci. Next to Mr. Kemal stands Spiridon Etnopulos, the owner of Royal chocolates, who was then the commodore of ASSK. As additional information, we learn from Mr. Mustafa that his brother-in-law, Kemal Özyelkenci, donated his wooden boat to ASSK.
The following note has been written on the back of the photo.
Thanks to the members of Adalar Water Sports Club, who gave me the honor of giving the trophy to the winners of this race held in my father's name.
Sailor Mehmet Cup
Burgazada Water Sports Club
When we examine the photographs of the Şafak Casino below, owned by the Özyelkenci family, we see that the Terrace Cafe has not yet been built in the photograph in which the mosque is visible. The boy who rides on the back of the donkey is Mr. Mustafa, who made these memories reach us. One of my favorite photographs is the one taken in the evening, which we rarely saw in those days. It was a nice snapshot with the ambiance created by the night lamps.
Şafak Casino first becomes the Ideal restaurant, and then it starts to be used as a residence. The ideal restaurant, on the other hand, was moved to the Cemevi and is still in operation today.
I came across the photocopy of the photo below in the building materials shop under the mosque. His story is here. It was quite logical that this document, which promotes the Burgazada Mosque and its famous people, came out in the family of Mehmet Yelkenci, one of the founders of the mosque.
A postcard with Yelkenci Mehmet Street bearing the name of this extraordinary sailor, whose trophies are given in his memory, and Şafak Casino, which he owns, in the same frame.
As I conclude with a historical document, I leave the word to Mustafa Bey:
Friendships are eternal, they never end. I used to say aunt Evdoksiya, she brought us colorful eggs every easter, they migrated to Greece after the events of September 6-7 (in the 60s).
Dear Kemal and Sayime On the occasion of the New Year Our endless love and respect Longingly presents the year 1969 We wish you happy days. Who doesn't forget you Yorgi and Evdoksiya