Aegean Sea

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The Aegean Sea is the west border of the Anatolian peninsula. This 215,000 square kilometre area of water is actually part of the Mediterranean Sea but it is locally called Aegean Sea by the Turkish and Greek people. The Strait of the Dardanelles is where it is connected to the Marmara sea. Several hundreds of islands are located. Some of these island belong to neither Turkey nor Greece since they can not support any human settlements.

Aegean Sea
Aegean Sea

Origin of the Aegean Sea’s Name

During the Panathenaia festival in Athens, the Cretan athlete Androgeus got killed by the jealous Athenians. The king of Crete then demands that seven girls and seven boys from Athens should be sent to him for sacrificing each year. King Aegeus of Athens asks his son Theseus to kill this Minotaur monster and sends it to Crete on a ship with the tributes. If he manages to kill the Minotaur, he asks him to set the white sail on the ship and thus give the good news from afar. If he could not kill him, King Aegeus wants him to put black sails. Theseus killed the Minotaur of Crete and started to return to Athens. On his way back, his father awaits him by the sea front. However, Theseus forgets his father’s orders and pulls a black sail above his ship. Seeing the black sails, King Aegeus throws himself into the sea out of sadness and commits suicide. Therefore, the sea near the Athens Bay begins to be called the “Aegeus Sea” which slowly becomes “Aegean Sea”.

Hasan Gülday

Hasan Gülday. Professional licensed tour guide working in Turkey.

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