Tuesday, May 28, 2013

On Gökceada

In 1923, under the terms of the Treaty of Lausanne, two Aegean islands were ceded to Turkey: Bozceada and Gökceada. Last month I was lucky enough to spend some time on the latter. Many of the original Greek inhabitants left the island, but a few village communities remain, of which the mountain village of Zeytinliköy is probably the prettiest.
Despite appearances, I was not in a grump, merely pensive, as I sat outside one of the coffeehouses in the village, tasting the local Dibek coffee (local produce, ground in stone pestle and mortar and flavoured with mastica).
I also attended the Sunday morning service in the local Greek Orthodox church, quite a marathon. Everyone was very kind, if slightly bemused, and I got quite a long way with a καλημέρα and an ευχαριστώ or two.

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