Turkey’s Princes’ Islands, A Most Unique And Distinctive Region – OpEd


The Princes’ Islands, one of the most unique and distinctive regions of Istanbul, have a demographic profile that differs significantly from the rest of the country. In recent years, infrastructure improvements and developments have enhanced the quality of life on the Islands and increased the number of voters. However, the diversity and differences among the people living on the Islands are also noteworthy.

Some of the voters living on the Princes’ Islands stand out as a group of merchants and religious Muslim individuals. Additionally, people of Southeastern origin, Alevis, and non-Muslims also reside on the Islands. While the number of Greek residents has decreased, Greek Orthodox churches still provide services. Although Russians and Ukrainians have not yet become citizens, they have settled on the islands, with some marrying Turks. The aging Jewish population is also significant.

The profile of the people living on the islands is not limited to their ethnic backgrounds alone. An educated and intellectual segment is also a significant part of this community. Furthermore, LGBT individuals also reside on the Islands. All these different demographic groups bring various needs and demands to the islands.

In the local elections, a mayor and council members will be elected to represent the demographic diversity of the Islands and serve various segments of the population. Following these elections, it is expected that a governance model will be established that caters to the complex and diverse social structure of the Islands and strengthens social cohesion.

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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