19 June 2007

Some places haven't changed much

In Jak Deleon's bilingual (Turkish, English) book about Büyükada, the largest of the islands off Istanbul in the Sea of Marmara, there are photographs of several old post cards of the island. One of them, unfortunately an undated one, shows a portion of the east side of the island with the old Greek orphanage (arrow) visible on top of a hill in the back.

büyüadaold

During my trip to the island with my friend Teri early in May, I had Deleon's book with me. I wanted to try to locate some of the scenery in the old post cards. So, as we were climbing up towards the hill on top of which is the Aya Yorgi Monastery with sticky rocks, we kept stopping and looking behind us to find a vintage point from where we could observe a scenery as close as possible to that in the above picture. But the pines kept blocking our view and this was the best we could do.

büyükada

The old picture had been taken from a higher point. Otherwise, the scenery hasn't changed much; the orphanage is still there (more about that in a future post), although there appear to be a few more buildings and a larger clearance at the shore of the small bay in the foreground. Fortunately, the island has resisted development so far and the pine forests, despite occasional fires, still cover most of it. I wish I could say the same about Istanbul, the obscenely large city that is visible on the slopes of the hills in the background.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The island has not changed much, but there are a few infractions. Do not remember if that new building you mentioned is the new horse stables for the carriage horses or the waste water treatment plant.

AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

I guess I couldn't complain about a waste water treatment plant, if indeed there is one. I wish they did something about the garbage dump near the sotuhern end of the island.