Wednesday, 24 July 2024
Mada Island: A Journey Filled with History and Culture

Mada Island: A Journey Filled with History and Culture

Beysehir Lake has approximately thirty-three small and large islands. The number of islands may change depending on the water level of the lake. One of these islands is Mada Island.

Mada Island: With an area of 822 hectares, it is the largest island in Beysehir Lake. The island, consisting of two peaks, has a height of 1345 meters on its southern peak. The shallow and nearby drinking water source in the northwest of the island has prepared the environment for settlement. The limited area of the settlement and agricultural lands in Gedikli village, located on the coast of the west of the island, and its topographic location has affected the emergence of this settlement.

The meaning of the word Mada is "stomach". However, in the register that identified the Beysehir endowments during the Fatih period, the name was written as "Mado". Later Ottoman sources have been written as "Made" and "Mada".

Settlement on Mada Island began during the Byzantine period and has been continuous from the Seljuk and Ottoman periods to the present day. During Ottoman rule, local Christians lived on the island who were friendly with the local people, adopted their customs, and became alienated from the Byzantines. The entry of Anatolia into the Seljuk rule resulted in the emigration of some Christian people from Iğdeli, Mada, Akburun, and Çeçen islands in 1142 by Byzantine Emperor Yuannis. During the Seljuk era, a mansion was built on the north of the island, and in the period of Mehmet Bey from the Eşrefoğulları. The walls, believed to belong to this mansion, are still present in the north of the island. Thus, these islands have sometimes been used as a place of rest and entertainment.

After the 93 War (1877-78), a portion of the Circassians who came to Anatolia were settled on Mada Island, while others were settled in Beyşehir and its surroundings. After the Circassian population moved to the center of Beyşehir in 1936, the island was purchased by some families from the Gedikli village. Gedikli was a farm settlement during the Ottoman Empire rule, but people from the Gevişli village in Manavgat district of Antalya came for pastoral activities in the Anamas Mountains in the east of the village and eventually settled in Gedikli. Therefore, the population on Mada Island is of Manavgat origin. The island was under the jurisdiction of Tolca village in Beyşehir until 1963, when it was included in the boundaries of Gedikli village in Isparta-Şarkîkaraağaç as Kumluca Mahallesi due to administrative changes. In that year, there were 187 people living in 38 houses on the island. According to the latest data, the population of the island is 253.