A serious influx of 200,000 vacationers has been reported in the western province of Balıkesir’s Avşa Island which normally has a population of 3,000, while additional ferry and sea bus services are organized to the island where hotels are also fully booked.
On the island frequented especially by locals in Istanbul and Bursa provinces, in order to avoid food shortages, grocery stores bring food products from neighboring districts to the island by sea vessels.
It was learned that some vacationers unable to find accommodation inhabited open areas such as parks and public beaches.
Süleyman Aksoy, the mayor of the Marmara district to which the island is affiliated, pointed out that they are not experiencing any problems despite the density and that their teams provide 24-hour uninterrupted service for the vacationers.
“The total population number of the Marmara district and Avşa Island is about 10,000. We are currently hosting 250,000 people. Two hundred thousand of them are vacationing in Avşa.As the municipality, we increased the number of our service teams here.”
Stating that the island’s water needs are met by treating sea water, Aksoy said that they are consuming 6,500 tons of purified water daily on the island.
During the Byzantine era, Avşa Island, formerly known by the classical Byzantine name Aphousia, served as a place of exile. Following the 1923 population exchange, the Greek locals fled to Sarti Chalkidiki, leaving the island to Turkish residents. Today, the island is a popular holiday destination thanks to its deep-rooted history and various beaches surrounded by nature.