There are nine islands in the Sea of Marmara to the southeast of Istanbul, the Demonesla (People’s islands) and Papadonesia (Priests’ Islands) of former days. Four of them-in order from the Istanbul approach, Krnaif, Burgaz, Heybeli and Büyük Ada, are inhabited, 2 are considered useless and 3 are too small to be inhabited.
During the decline of Byzantium, fallen Emperors and dignitaries were confined, blinded and with shaven heads, in the monasteries and convents. The islands are now a popular residential area and summer resort. They may be reached by boat from the Galata Bridge: for the best view the luxury class is the best.
The Uninhabited Islands: The first two are Sivri (Sharp) (Gr. Oxya), conical in shape, with some remains of convents, former places of exile, and Yassı (Flat) (Gr. Platy), also with a ruined 11th century monastery used for the same purpose. Owing to violent currents, both ore better approached by motorboat. Beyond Büyük Ada is Tavşan (Rabbit) Island, where rabbits were bred in the 19th century. The Patriarch Theodore was banished here in 1183 by Andronicus Commenus. There is also a Byzantine tomb. Finally, beyond Tovşan. is the islet of Neandros.