Greek families return to Gökçeada for good, mayor says
ÇANAKKALE – Anadolu Agency
AA photoSeveral Greek nationals have returned to the Turkish island of Gökçeada in the Aegean province of Çanakkale to settle, with their country facing harsh conditions due to an economic crisis, according to mayor of the island.
Some of the Greek families who had to move from the island to Greece years ago have decided to return for good, Gökçeada Mayor Ünal Çetin said, adding a number of them have opened boutique hotels on the island as a way to escape the long-term effects of the crisis which has hit Turkey’s neighboring country.
“Greek people who were from Gökçeada tell us that they are planning to settle here [after] leaving Greece.
Some of them decided to spend the rest of their lives in Gökçeada and settled here. They have started to operate very beautiful boutique hotels on the island. I believe they have made a very good decision and I congratulate them,” Çetin said.
Several Greek families have been staying on the island every summer for years. Çetin said they were very happy to see these Greek families coming to the island to spend their summer.
“Greek national people are very important for us. We love them. It makes us happier to see them happy here. But the economic crisis in Greece is also saddening us as a neighboring country,” said Çetin.
The Gökçeada mayor also said he believed there may be a decrease in the number of Greeks coming to the island to stay for the summer due to the financial problems they are facing.
“Many Greek people were coming to the island in summers and participate in the Meryem Ana [Virgin Mary] celebrations every year. But this year, that can be changed due to the crisis,” he said.
Çetin also said they will organize a football match in the island for the second time this year on Aug. 13.
After remaining closed for 50 years, the Private Gökçeada Greek Primary School was reopened in 2013.
Located in the island’s Zeytinli village, the school only had four students from the small minority population.