Büyük Ada’s Timeless Charms Fading Amid Evolving Challenges – OpEd


Büyük Ada (Prinkipo), a serene island near Istanbul, was once famous for its picturesque horse-drawn carriages. However, this charming character has gradually shifted, giving way to a more modern, yet concerning, landscape. The tranquil clip-clop of hooves has surrendered to the cacophonous buzz of electric scooters zipping through its streets with reckless abandon, robbing the island of its former serenity.

The invasion of high-speed electric scooters has transformed the island, making it a challenging place for pedestrians to navigate. The narrow streets lack proper sidewalks, leaving locals and visitors alike grappling with an unanticipated disruption to their peaceful strolls.

Adding to the island’s unease, electric mini-buses reminiscent of the Turkish dolmuş now traverse the winding roads, further disrupting the tranquility once synonymous with Büyük Ada. Peace has become a precious rarity, elusive to those who yearn for it.

Furthermore, ferryboats consistently bring in large lorries excavators meant for a big construction activity, encroaching upon the scenic seaside and altering the island’s serene charm.

Adding to the disquiet, there have been reports of suspicious individuals who appear in the evenings, reminiscent of characters from Hallinan’s stories, causing concern among the island’s residents.

The once vibrant spirits of the island’s shopkeepers and restaurant owners now seem burdened with a heavy melancholy. They serve their customers with somber expressions, avoiding eye contact and smiles, as if they are eager to conclude transactions as swiftly as possible.

The beloved spirit of Büyük Ada has, regrettably, begun to wane.

Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP, Entergy), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

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