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Dodecanese Turks
On İki Ada Türkleri
Total population
Sunni Islam[1]
Suleymaniye Mosque in Rhodes
Defterdar Mosque in Kos

The Turks of the Dodecanese (Turkish: On İki Ada Türkleri) are a community of ethnic Turks and Cretan Muslims living on the Dodecanese islands of Rhodes (Turkish: Rodos) and Kos (Turkish: İstanköy).


The Dodecanese was gradually settled by Turks from the Anatolian mainland from the 1480s onwards. The main island of Rhodes passed from Venetian to Ottoman rule in 1522.

After almost four centuries under the Ottoman Empire, control of the Dodecanese passed to Italy in the aftermath of the Italo-Turkish War of 1912. The Turkish population on the island was not affected by the 1923 population exchange, because the Dodecanese islands were under the rule of the Kingdom of Italy at the time. All inhabitants of the islands became Greek citizens after 1947 when the islands became part of Greece.[citation needed] Their population is estimated at less than 5,000 individuals.[2]

As a result of this incorporation into Greece and due to the situation following the Cyprus conflict and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 many Muslim Turks were expelled from the islands and forced to settle in Turkey.[3][4]

The Turks in Kos are partly organized around the Muslim Association of Kos, which gives the figure 2,000 for the population they bring together and represent for the Greek island.[5] Those in Rhodes are organized around the Moslem Association of Rhodes, which gives the figure 3,500 for the population they bring together and represent for the island.[6] The president of their association Mazlum Payzanoğlu estimates the number in Rhodes as 2500 and in Kos as 2000.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Stelya, Nikolaos (15 April 2021). "Yunanistan, Aleviliği resmen tanıdı: Sınır kentindeki cemevine onay" (in Turkish). Gazete Duvar. Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  2. ^ Clogg 2002, 84.
  3. ^ Whitman, Lois (1990), Destroying ethnic identity: the Turks of Greece, Human Rights Watch, ISBN 0-929692-70-5
  4. ^ Caoursin, Guillaume, and John Kay. The siege of Rhodes. J. Lettou and W. de Machlinia, 1970.
  5. ^ News article on the publication of the constitutive article for the Turkish Muslim Association of Kos in the Greek Official Gazette (in Turkish) Archived July 8, 2004, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Rodos'ta misket havası çaldı - Güncel Haberler". Milliyet.
  7. ^ "İstanköy'de ilk Türk derneği".