Burgaz island, in
of Marmara (map),
has been a favorite island getaway
Greek-heritage residents for a century,
as you can instantly determine when
you approach the island and see the
Orthodox Church of St John towering
above the town.
But there are mosques and
a synagogue here
as well, testifying to the islands'
rich Ottoman mix
of populations and traditions.
Few tourists bother to visit Burgaz
which, at 1.5 square km (150 hectares,
371 acres), is only slightly larger
than its neighbor Kınalı.
The lack of visitors is the
island's main attraction: unlike Büyükada,
which is always crowded with visitors,
on Burgaz you interact mostly with
That having been said, it is also
a smaller island with less to see and
do than either Büyükada or Heybeli.
But if all you want is a sunny cafe,
a shady restaurant table, a place to
stroll, poke around and explore, Burgaz will do quite nicely.
The beloved Turkish short-story writer
Sait Faik Abasıyanık (1906-1954)
lived with his mother on Burgaz from
1939 to 1954, and their house is now
is the small, modest Sait
worth a look as it is a period piece.
His stories, by the way, are delightful
character studies. Many are placed
in the Islands, especially Burgaz.
—by Tom Brosnahan
dome of the Church of
St John towers above
the town on Burgazada,