Life on the ocean wave

We woke up to a lovely, warm sunny day and decided to head out for a walk and a cup of tea.

We thought we would go to the cafe at the end of the causeway leading up to Pigeon island, so imagine our surprise when we discovered a building site where the cafe should have been.

The reason?…. the whole island was under restoration.

Pigeon Island or Guvercin Adasi is a small island by the port in Kusadasi, it’s surrounded by fortified walls and there is a small castle in the middle, all of which are being restored by an army of workers.

pigeon island

There has been a castle on the island since the  Byzantine era, it was rebuilt by the Ottomans and they used the island as a protection against pirate attacks.

Piracy in the Aegean Sea has been a problem for many many years. In ancient Cilicia, in south east Turkey, there was a community of pirates who terrorised the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. In 75 BC Julius Caesar was taking a voyage across the Aegean and was captured by Cilician pirates and was ransomed for 50 talents of gold, after his release he raised a fleet, captured the pirates and put them to death.

During the Ottoman period the most famous pirates of all time were the Barbarossa brothers, Ajur and Hizir. They were Barbary Pirates, so named because they hailed from Tunis, Tripoli and Algiers,  AKA the Barbary Coast.

From the 16th century a Barbary pirate’s primary goal, as well as plundering and pillaging, was the capture of white slaves for sale and use in North Africa.  An estimated 800,000 to 1.25 million people were captured as slaves between the 16th and 19th century.

The work is really coming along and it’s looking great. But I hope that they remember to build a cafe there so that the next time we feel like a cup of tea in a beautiful setting we’ll be able to go there.

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