Links of interest for

Turkey : Bozcaada


Bozcaada, or Tenedos in Greek, is a small island in the north Aegean Sea and a district of Canakkale province in Turkey. It is roughly triangular in shape with an area of 39 km2  surrounded by small islets and is situated close to the entrance of the Dardanelles. The only rural district of Turkey without any villages, it has one major settlement, Bozcaada town center. As of 2010, the island had a population of about 2,354. The main industries are viniculture, fishing and tourism. Inhabitants today are mostly Turkish but there are still about 25 ethnic Greeks on the island. Bozcaada was primarily inhabited by ethnic Greeks from ancient times through to approximately the middle of the twentieth century, when many emigrated due to a campaign of state-sponsored discrimination, while many Turks were settled on the island from 1964 onwards.

Renewable Energy & Eco Housing

The use of solar thermal systems has been very popular for a number of years with nearly 40% of buildings located on the island using solar panels to provide domestic hot water. Bozcaada also sits at a prime location for wind energy generation. There are presently 17 wind turbines on the island that produce an estimated 10.2 MW. Four of the turbines supply enough energy for the entire population and the other 13 send excess power through an underground and submarine cable to Cannakale for consumption on the mainland. Care was taken not to use overhead lines and pylons in order not to disturb the scenery of the island. The wind farm is a joint venture between the German company Enercon and a Turkish trust that owns the land. The project was finished in 2000 and was the first wind energy project of its kind in Turkey and remained the largest producer of wind energy in the country until a project in Bandirma by GE Energy that generates 30 MW surpassed it in 2006.

Another unique aspect of the venture is that Enercon sells the energy produced back to the Turkish government at a bulk rate who then distribute this power to local consumers. So essentially, a foreign company recognized the potential of wind energy programs in Turkey and decided to develop this alternative resource. This project was developed before the Turkish Wind Atlas and basically provided hard data to the Turkish government that wind projects were productive and feasible in the eastern Aegean region. After recognition of this renewable energy was acknowledged and assisted with the 2005 Renewables Law, wind projects began to be sponsored by the Turkish government at a higher rate. Since the release of the Bozcaada results, the Turkish government has begun to support larger and larger wind energy projects throughout the region due to the enormous potential. It is assumed that with proper maintenance the Bozcaada wind farm will stay operational until 2015 or perhaps 2020 depending on the condition of the turbines.

At the end of June 2011, Henry Puna, prime minister of the Cook Islands, traveled more than 11,000 miles on an unusual fact-finding mission to Bozcaada. Puna had come to see the island’s hospital and house of its governor - two of the only buildings in the world partially powered by hydrogen-generated electricity. This unique prototype technology had been generating zero-emissions power for several months prior to his visit. At the governor's house a 20 kW rooftop solar array and a free-standing 30 kW wind turbine produce clean electricity, which is run through an electrolyzer that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen gas gets compressed and stored in tanks on the island and is later converted back into electricity whenever extra power is needed. The gas can also fuel hydrogen cars or vessels. Currently, Bozcaada's system supplies all the electricity at both buildings, as well as a boat and golf cart. Combined, it's equivalent to powering about 20 households in Turkey.

This minuscule amount is emblematic of the uphill battle that hydrogen technologies face in becoming a solution to reckon with in the contest for alternative fuels. Still, experts say the facilities on this small Aegean outpost, 175 miles southwest of Istanbul, illustrate some of the more promising uses of hydrogen as an energy carrier - especially its potential to fill crucial niches within a larger clean energy economy. Today, Istanbul is home to some of the world's most cutting-edge research and development of hydrogen energy applications. That's because the UN International Development Organization located its International Center for Hydrogen Energy Technologies (ICHET) here in 2004. Turkey was chosen for its proximity to both rich and poor countries. For Puna, the visit to Bozcaada was a glimpse at the energy future of his own country. ICHET is currently installing a similar system on Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. Hydrogen energy is particularly suited to islands, which generally have abundant renewable resources but are removed from main grids.

Waste Minimisation & Recycling

At present, there is no solid waste management plan for Bozcaada and rubbish is simply dumped at an untreated site. A waste-to-energy plant has been mooted in a student thesis but it is far more likely a waste water treatment plant will be built first as no such facility currently exists either on the island. Back on the mainland, the Canakkale Solid Waste Management Association has been very active and was responsible for implementing the first EU funded solid waste management systems in Turkey. The project included the building of a landfill site, closure and rehabilitation of five old waste storage sites, building of three recycling centres and treatment of organic waste at a compost plant. Bozcaada might soon fully embrace similar practices to prevent environmental pollution as the municipality has purchased recycling containers from IMOT and introduced a ban on plastic bags in June 2011. The local environmental association has also been active raising awareness about waste recycling and undertaken several projects.

Water Management & Security

Bozcaada, in Turkish, means barren island. There are just two potable water wells and these are not sufficient to meet the annual need of the island so additional water from the mainland is supplied through the Aegean underwater pipeline.

Extensive Agriculture & Organic Food Production

On Bozcaada 25% of the economy is based on viniculture as the result of its climate. The island’s traditional grapes are white Vasilaki and Cavus, red Kuntra and Karalahna. The system of cultivation allows for more than 600 plants every 1000 square metres. Newly planted vines are grown high on wire supports and not watered. Four factories are currently in operation for wine production purposes including the influential Corvus that is equipped with the latest technology. There is a project backed by the Agriculture Ministry to invest heavily in organic grape production on the island. At a time when great attention is paid to the terroir concept and its effects on wine, Bozcaada is greatly advantaged thanks to its 3000 year history of wine making but must further improve its product quality and bring life again to the vineyards that have been lost. In addition to vineyards, there are fields of wheat, melons and pumpkin, olive groves and orchards of scented fruit trees.  Since thyme is common, honey produced on the island has a distinctive smell. Red poppies are also used to produce small quantities of sharbat and jam. Sheep and goats are grazed on the hillier part of the island not suitable for agriculture.


The only way to reach Bozcaada by car is from the harbour of Geyikli Yukyeri 6 km to the south of Canakkale. The ferry crossing takes approximately half an hour but departure and arrival schedules change depending on the summer and winter seasons. Canakkale national airport has been accessible since late 2006, but only through a limited number of connections from Istanbul. There is a passenger only fast ferry to Bozcaada direct from Canakkale.

Sustainable Tourism & Niche Marketing

Thousands of years ago the famous Greek historian Herodot is recorded to say “God created Bozcaada for those who visited there, to have a long life”. For today’s visitors there is still much to see and do as well as a wide range of accommodation to choose from that are detailed in the following websites . When approaching the island on the ferry the first landmark that comes into view is the castle within which there is a small museum. Besides relaxing on beaches like Ayazma, other outdoor activities include cycling, horse riding, sailing, windsurfing and diving. There are several art galleries as well as various cultural festivals and traditional religious fairs throughout the year.

Biodiversity & Protected Areas

The whole of Bozcaada lies mostly within historical and natural protection sites. The landscape is mainly maquis vegetation dominated by prickly junipers, mastic trees, kermes oaks and a variety of shrubs. A study published in 2009 developed a planning approach for the distinctive landscape characteristics of the island in order to produce some guidelines for existing and/or future land use demands and priorities towards achieving ecologically sustainable spatial uses.

Out of the 17 sites listed as important for the monk seal by different Turkish organisations, 5 were designated in 1999 to become Monk Seal Protected Areas including the islands of Bozcaada and nearby Gokceada where conservation codes have been introduced and further studies undertaken. The organisations involved were the Institute of Marine Sciences, Turkish Marine Research Foundation and WWF working with SAD-AFAG (The Underwater Research Society – Mediterranean Seal Research Group).

Climate Change Mitigation & Adaptation Measures

In 2011 the Ministry of Environment and Forestry was split into the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization and the Ministry of Forest and Water Affairs. With its goal to join the EU, Turkey has made commendable progress in updating and modernizing its environmental legislation. However, environmental concerns are not fully integrated into public decision-making and enforcement can be weak. Turkey faces a backlog of environmental problems, requiring enormous outlays for infrastructure. The most pressing needs are for water treatment plants, wastewater treatment facilities, solid waste management, and conservation of biodiversity. After long years of silence, Turkey signed the Kyoto Protocol in 2008 and ratified it in 2009. There is a Department of Climate Change and in July 2011, the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization produced a National Climate Change Action Plan.