Explore The North Aegean
Strategically straddling the Dardanelles, Gökçeada and Bozcaada were the only Aegean islands to revert to Turkey after the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, which concluded the Greek-Turkish war. Under the terms of the agreement, the islands’ Greek Orthodox inhabitants were exempt from that year’s population exchange, but after 1937 both islands were re-militarized (access to foreigners was banned until 1987), and the Turkish authorities began to assert their sovereignty more forcefully. Although a formal population exchange was never instigated, most of the islands’ Greek population had left by 1974, to be replaced by Turkish settlers.
Both islands have good beaches: the smaller Bozcaada is fashionable with weekenders from İstanbul, thus expensive, while the larger Gökçeada is cheaper and more dramatic, with less-developed tourism.Read More