Imbros (Turkish Gökçeada or Imroz, Greek Imvros) and Tenedos (Turkish Bozcaada; Greek Tenedhos) are two islands in the Aegean Sea which are part of Çanakkale Province in Turkey. Before the First World War. Imbros was mainly inhabited by Greeks, and called Imvros; Tenedos, which is closer to the Asian mainland, had been divided between the two ethnic groups since the 14th century, and the division had been more or less equal when counts had been taken.
In classical antiquity, Imbros, like Lemnos, was an Athenian colony, although since the Imbrians appear on the Athenian tribute lists, there may have been a division with the native population.
The Venetian fortress in the island of Bozcaada (Tenedos) off the coast of Turkey in the Aegian Sea, Photograph by Henryk Kotowski 2003
In Virgil's The Aeneid, Tenedos is described as the island, in whose bay the Greeks hid their fleet during the Trojan War in order to trick the Trojans into believing the war was over and allowing the Trojans to take the Trojan Horse within their city walls.
Because of their strategic position near the Dardanelles, the western powers, particularly Britain, insisted at the end of the Balkan Wars in 1913 that the islands should be retained by the Ottoman Empire when the other Aegean islands were ceded to Greece.
In 1920 the Treaty of Sevres following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire granted the islands to Greece. The present Republic of Turkey was not signatory to that treaty, and is not bound by it. In any case, the other signatories conceded that the islands should be Turkish in the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
Gökçeada has a population of about 8,000 and much smaller Bozcaada has a population of about 2,500. The main industries of the islands are fishing and tourism. The grapes, wines and red poppies of Tenedos have been famous for centuries. The population is mostly Turkish but there are still about 1,000 Greeks on Gökçeada and about 100 on Bozcaada.
Tenedos Tetradrachm, Janus-like Female and Male head, double ax, text, "TENEDION"
Theoxenus of Tenedos
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