Eşek Island

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Eşek Island
Native name:
Eşek Ada, Kara Ada Goni Adasi

Nickname: Donkey Island (tourists)
Chios topographic map-fr.svg
Marked as "Kara" island on the east side of the Chios Strait.
Eşek Island is located in Turkey
Eşek Island
Eşek Island
LocationAegean Sea
Coordinates38°26′28.1112″N 26°20′57.3252″E / 38.441142000°N 26.349257000°E / 38.441142000; 26.349257000
İl (province)İzmir Province

Eşek Island (Turkish: Eşek Adasi), also known as Kara Island (Turkish: Karaada or Kara Ada, meaning Black Island), Goni Adasi or Donkey Island, is an island to the north of Çeşme in İzmir Province of Turkey.[1] Located on the east side of the Chios Strait opposite the Greek island of Chios, it is the largest of a group of uninhabited islands sitting at the mouth of the Ildır bay which is situated between the Çeşme and Karaburun peninsulas.[2][3]

The island is a popular day trip destination by boat from Çeşme, and known for its donkeys, which are popular with local and foreign tourists. "Eşek" means donkey, or ass, in Turkish, and the donkeys are the source of the current popular name for the island. The government has improved the conditions of the donkey population (which exists because of a few animals left abandoned on the island previously), providing them with fresh water and shelter from the sun. Electricity to draw and treat water comes from solar panels and wind turbines.[4][5][6][7]

The island has a total area of 670 hectares and highest elevation of 218 meters. Two smaller islands lie directly east of the island, known as Kucuk Ada, and Toprak Ada, and a few even smaller islands including Uzunada are also in close proximity.[2][8] The nearest part of the mainland lies to the east of the island, which is a small peninsula jutting out of Karaburun peninsula known as Colak Burnu, and which features the promontory of Teke Dagi which reaches 312 meters in height.

Other islands[edit]

The island should not be confused with the Greek island of Agathonisi to the south off the coast of Didim, Turkey, which is also called "Eşek Adasi" in Turkish, or other Turkish islands also referred to "Kara Ada", including one near Bodrum.


  1. ^ (19 November 2016). 15 refugees left on Turkish island, mistaking it for Greece, Daily Sabah
  2. ^ a b Important Bird Areas in Turkey, ("The Ildir bay is situated between the Cesme and Karaburun peninsulas, west of Izmir. The bay has two groups of uninhabited islands. One, situated at the mouth of the bay, consists of Karaada, Toprak, Kucuckada, Uzunada, and a few smaller island, with a total area of 830 ha. Karaada island, the largest (67o ha) and highest (218 m), has steep cliffs on its western and eastern shores. It is also known as Goni or Esek (donkey) island, due to the presence of feral donkeys on the island.")
  3. ^ Mediterranean Pilot, Volume 4, p. 187 (4th ed. 1908) (1908 British publication refers to it as "Goni island" as the largest of the group)
  4. ^ Frommer'sTurkey: From the Blue Mosque to the Blue Lagoon, p. 191 (2004)
  5. ^ (14 September 2017). Çeşme'de 'eşek' turizmi (Donkey tourism in Cesme), NTV (Turkey) (in Turkish)
  6. ^ (5 April 2015). EŞEK ADASI'NDAKİ HAYVANLAR KORUMA ALTINDA, Yeni Asir (in Turkish)
  7. ^ (5 April 2015). Kara Ada'daki Sahipsiz Hayvanlar Koruma Altında, Haberler (in Turkish)
  8. ^ Kiminas, Demetrius. The Ecumenical Patriarchate, p. 88 (2009) (referencing the smaller islands of "Gouni", "Kara Ada" in Turkish; Plakia, "Toprak Ada" in Turkish), as located in the Erythres Gulf, Turkish "Ildir Korfezi")