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Sivriada

Sivriada, also known as Okseia,  is one of the Princes' Islands in the Marmara Sea near Istanbul. It is the most distant  of the Princes' Islands. It is in the shape of a pyramid with a height of  90 meters. There are both a fresh water well and a small wharf which is often used by yachts located on the southern front of the island. The distance between the island and its closest neighbour is 1.7 km.

Sivriada, which has another name of Hayırsızada, is located at the center of the area where a large amount of seafood is harvested. The island, with has a lantern on the top of its peak, was often used by Byzantine clerics as a distant place for peaceful worship similar to the other Istanbul islands. The Byzantine emperors also used the island as a convenient prison to detain prominent people whom they deemed troublesome. The Sivriada Monastery, which is estimated to have been in existance since the 10th century, was dedicated to Angel Michael, and can be seen on the shore. This monastery, which is a breathless witness to imprisoned people banished to the island  and to the anguished days of monks who cloistered themselves in solitude within its walls, lives its last days in its own solitute as there has not been any settlement on the island for many years. In 1911, the stray dogs of the streets of Istanbul were gathered and deposited  on Sivriada. This act was the “last exile” of the island’s history. Immediately following this event was a severe earthquake which was perceived as "a punishment by God for abandoning the dogs" since these animals were forced to eat each other due to starvation.

Translated by Mr. Irfan KOKSAL


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Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality 2008