Lighthouses of European Turkey

Most of the modern nation of Turkey occupies the broad peninsula of Anatolia (Asia Minor) between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The northwestern corner of the country is the region of East Thrace, a part of Europe adjoining Greece and Bulgaria. Between Anatolia and Thrace is the small Sea of Marmara, connected to the Black Sea by the Bosporus and to the Aegean Sea by the Dardanelles. These narrow passages form a famous international waterway (lit by several historic lighthouses) connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean.

This page describes the lighthouses of East Thrace, including the European side of the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmora, and the Dardanelles, as well as the island of Gökçeada (Imbros) in the northeastern corner of the Aegean Sea adjacent to the Dardanelles. Lights of the Asiatic side of the Straits are on the Northwestern Anatolia page.

The Turkish phrase for a lighthouse is fener (plural fenerler) or deniz feneri ("sea lantern"). Burnu is a cape or headland, ada or adası is an island, and limani is a harbor. Lighthouses in Turkey are operated by the Directorate General of Coastal Safety (Kıyı Emniyeti Genel Müdürlüğü).

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights Admiralty numbers are from volume E of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 113. The official Turkish light list, Fenerler ve sis Isaretleri (Lights and Fog Signals), is not available online.

General Sources
Historical Lighthouses
Information posted by the Directorate General of Coastal Safety.
Deniz Fenerleri
A fine web site by Bekir Dildar.
Deniz Fenerleri
Photos of 22 lighthouses by Haluk Özözlü.
Online List of Lights - Turkey
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas; the photos of Bosporus lights are by Capt. Peter Mosselberger.
Leuchttürme in Türkei
Photos by Andreas Koehler.
Lighthouses in Turkey
Photos available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Turkey
Photos available from Lightphotos.net.
Europäische Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.
Ahirkapi Feneri
Ahırkapı Light, İstanbul, February 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Julian Kücklich

Eastern Black Sea Lighthouses

Kırklareli Province Lighthouses
* Iğneada Burnu (Limanköy, Cape Kuri) (3)
1913 (station established 1866). Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 8 m (26 ft) round masonry tower, adjoining a 1-story masonry keeper's house. Entire lighthouse painted white. A photo is at right, Izzet Kirbas has a fine photo, a 2012 photo by Umut Özdemir is available, Özözlü has a good photo, Wikimedia has Ahmet Baris Isitan's photo, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. The original lighthouse was destroyed in 1903 and replaced by a temporary light. Located near Limanköy at the tip of the cape, which projects into the Black Sea about 8 km (5 mi) south of the Bulgarian border. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E4966; NGA 17528.
Iğneada East Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green flash every 3 s. 12 m (39 ft) round concrete tower. Lighthouse painted white with one narrow green horizontal band. A view showing both breakwater lights is available, a second view has this lighthouse on the right, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the end of the east (main) breakwater of Iğneada. Site status unknown. Admiralty E4966.4; NGA 17532.
Iğneada West Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); continuous red light. 12.5 m (41 ft) round concrete tower. Lighthouse painted white with one narrow red horizontal band. A view showing both breakwater lights is available, a second view has this lighthouse on the left, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the end of the west breakwater of Iğneada. Site status unknown. Admiralty E4966.6; NGA 17536.

Iğneada Burnu Light, Limanköy
Turkish Airlines (Skylife Magazine) photo

Western İstanbul Province: North Coast Lighthouses
* Rumeli Karaburun (2)
1968 (station established 1856). Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) octagonal cylindrical concrete tower with 8 ribs, lantern, and gallery. 2nd order (?) Fresnel lens in use. Entire lighthouse is white. ARLHS has an excellent photo, Ozan Kilic has a dramatic nighttime photo, and Google has a good satellite view. NGA lists the light as a stone tower and mentions a keeper's house not seen in the photo. The original lighthouse was much higher, with a focal plane of 92 m (302 ft); we don't know if that lighthouse survives. Karaburan (Black Cape) is a common place name in Turkey, and several lighthouses have that name. Located on a short, sharp promontory at Karaburun, about 40 km (25 mi) northwest of İstanbul. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS TUR-036; Admiralty E4964; NGA 17520.
* Dalyan Burnu
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); three flashes every 10 s, white or red depending on direction. 8 m (26 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. A distant view is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory at Kumköy, about 8 km (5 mi) west of the Rumeli lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E4962; NGA 17516.
*** Rumeli (Türkeli) (2)
1856 (station established 1830). Active; focal plane 58 m (190 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 30 m (98 ft) 2-stage octagonal stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. An octagonal control tower in front of the lighthouse monitors ship traffic entering the Bosporus from the Black Sea. Kent Spillner's photo is at right, Özözlü has a good photo, Trabas has Capt. Peter's view from the strait, an excellent 2008 closeup is available, the Coastal Safety Directorate has the history of the station, and Google has a satellite view. This is Turkey's tallest lighthouse and a masterpiece of Ottoman lighthouse architecture. Rumeli (or Rumelia) is an old name for the Turkish possessions in Europe, and this lighthouse stands on the west (Rumelian or Thracian) side of the entrance to the Bosporus from the Black Sea. Lights were shown from this location as early as the 16th century. During the Crimean War (1853-56), the Ottoman Empire granted Britain and France a 100-year concession to build and operate a lighthouse here. During early phases of construction, the French builders discovered that the chosen site is on top of an ancient mausoleum. They revised their plans to allow access to the mausoleum, which remains open today. The 100-year concession was cancelled by Turkey's republican government in 1933. Located in the village of Rumelifeneri. Site open; the tower is listed by the Coastal Safety Directorate as open to visitors but I have not seen any photos of the interior or views from the top. ARLHS TUR-053; Admiralty E4956; NGA 17496.
Rumeli Feneri
Rumeli Light, Rumelifeneri, March 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Kent Spillner

Western İstanbul Province: Bosporus and İstanbul City Lighthouses

Bosporus West Side Lighthouses
Note: The Bosporus is the strait connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, which in turn connects to the Mediterranean Sea. Known to Turks as İstanbul Boğazı or simply as Boğaz (The Strait), the Bosporus is the narrowest of all the major straits commonly used by international shipping. It narrows from about 3700 m (2.3 mi) at the Black Sea entrance to about 700 m (2300 ft) at downtown İstanbul. Two major bridges cross the Bosporus, and a third is planned. There are many lights along the strait, and only the larger towers are listed here. In keeping with international conventions, the lights on the west side of the strait all have green lights.
Dikili Tas (Dikilikaya, Rumeli Kavaği)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); two green flashes every 10 s. 9 m (30 ft) round hourglass-shaped tower, painted white with two narrow green horizontal bands, mounted on a concrete pier. Trabas has a photo, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. This light marks the point where the strait narrows for southbound vessels to a width of about 1500 m (0.9 mi). Located off the west side of the strait at the village of Rumeli Kavaği. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E4955; NGA 17484.
* Büyükdere
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); three green flashes every 15 s. 9 m (30 ft) round hourglass-shaped tower, painted white with one narrow green horizontal band. Trabas has Capt. Peter's photo, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located in Büyükdere, a town just north of Serıyer on the west side of the strait. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E4952; NGA 17468.
* Kireç Burnu (Kireçburnu)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); three green flashes every 15 s. 9 m (30 ft) round hourglass-shaped tower, painted white with three narrow green horizontal bands, mounted on a concrete pier. Trabas has Capt. Peter's photo, and Bing has a distant satellite view. This light marks a wide turn in the course of the strait. Located on the waterfront of Kireç Burnu, a town at the northern edge of İstanbul. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E4950; NGA 17452.
* İstinye
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two green flashes every 10 s. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped tower, painted white with green horizontal bands. Trabas has Capt. Peter's photo, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a promontory on the west side of the strait at İstinye, opposte Pasabahce. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E4949; NGA 17436.
* Balta Limanı
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower. Lighthouse painted white with one narrow green horizontal band. Capt. Peter has a good photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the west side of the Bosporus in the Baltalimanı neighborhood, north of the Sultan Mehmet Bridge. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E4947; NGA 17424.
* Aşiyan Burnu
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); three green flashes every 15 s. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower. Lighthouse painted white with three narrow green horizontal bands. Capt. Peter has a good photo (also seen at right), and Google has a satellite view. An earlier light, still listed by NGA, was mounted on the wall of a nearby fortress. Located on the west side of the Bosporus at a pronounced bend in the channel in the Aşiyan neighborhood. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E4946; NGA 17420.
* Arnavutköy (Akıntı Burnu)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); green flash every 3 s. 9 m (30 ft) round hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower with gallery. Lighthouse painted white with one narrow green horizontal band. Capt. Peter has a good photo (taken before the gallery was added) and Google has a satellite view. Located on the west side of the Bosporus in the Arnavutköy neighborhood, halfway between the Boğaziçi and Sultan Mehmet bridges. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E4940; NGA 17408.
* Salıpazarı Wharf
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); three green flashes every 10 s. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower. Lighthouse painted white with three narrow green horizontal bands. Capt. Peter has a good photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a small wharf on the west side of the Bosporus opposite the Kız Kulesi (Maiden's Tower; see Northwestern Anatolia). Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E4903.7; NGA 17388.
Aşiyan Burnu Light
Aşiyan Burnu Light, İstanbul
photo copyright Capt. Peter Mosselberger; used by permission

Sea of Marmara North and West Coast Lighthouses

Note: The Sea of Marmara is about 280 km (175 mi) long from east to west and about 80 km (50 mi) wide. The Bosporus connects the Black Sea to the northeastern corner of the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles connects the Aegean Sea to the southwest corner.
Southwest İstanbul Lighthouses
* Ahırkapı (2)
1857 (station established 1755). Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); white flash every 6 s. 26 m (85 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story stone keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white with one narrow black horizontal band. Julian Kücklich's photo appears at the top of this page, Koehler has a good photo, Lightphotos.net has a photo, Capt. Peter has a view from the water, the Coastal Safety Directorate has the history of the station, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse stands on the west side of the entrance to the Bosporus from the Sea of Marmara. Sultan Osman III ordered a lighthouse built here in 1755 after witnessing the rescue of seamen from a wrecked galleon. Located on the land side of the waterfront boulevard, the Kennedy Caddesi, on Ahırkapı Burnu. ARLHS TUR-056; Admiralty E4903; NGA 17340.
* Ataköy (Bakırköy) Marina
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) mast atop a 2-story pierhead restaurant. A photo is available, Inanc Kucukosmanoglu has a view from the sea, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the breakwater pier of the Ataköy marina in the Bakırköy neighborhood of southwestern İstanbul, about 5 km (3 mi) east of the Yeşilköy lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E4902.5; NGA 17105.
* Yeşilköy (Agios Stefanos, St. Stefanos)
1856. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 10 s. 18 m (59 ft) octagonal stone tower centered on a 1-story octagonal keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white. Özözlü has a good photo showing how a skyscraper overshadows the lighthouse today, Ziyaşen Martıuçurtma also has a photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, the Coastal Safety Directorate has the history of the station, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse serves as a landfall light for vessels arriving in İstanbul from the Sea of Marmara. Located at the end of the Fener Yolu Caddesi in Yeşilköy, about 12 km (7.5 mi) southwest of downtown İstanbul, near the international airport. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS TUR-055; Admiralty E4902; NGA 17104.

Tekirdağ Province Lighthouses
* Marmara Ereğlisi (Ereğli)
1861. Active; focal plane 53 m (174 ft); white flash every 10 s. Approx. 16 m (52 ft) octagonal cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white. A photo and a distant 2008 view are available, and Google has a satellite view.The 2005-06 Admiralty Light List has the tower height as 26 m (85 ft), but this appears to be a misprint. The same tower height has been copied by NGA. There is no evidence of a new, higher tower at the station. Located on a sharp promontory at Marmara Ereğli, about 32 km (20 mi) east of Tekirdag on the central north coast of the Sea of Marmara. Site apparently open, tower closed. ARLHS TUR-059; Admiralty E4898; NGA 17072.
** Hoşköy (Hora)
1861. Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 22 m (72 ft) 12-sided cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white. A Coastal Safety Directorate photo is at right, a 2008 photo and a 2007 photo are also available, Habib Atınç has a view from the sea, and Bing has a satellite view. This historic lighthouse, on the west side of the Sea of Marmara, guides ships into the Dardanelles. Located near the village of Hoşköy, about 20 km (13 mi) northeast of the larger town of Sarköy. Site open, tower may be open by arrangement with the keeper. ARLHS TUR-025; Admiralty E4896; NGA 17060.
İnce Burnu
1953. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted white. A photo is available, Habib Atınç has a very distant view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a prominent cape on the northwest side of the Dardanelles entrance about 15 km (9 mi) southwest of Sarköy. Site status unknown. ARLHS TUR-027; Admiralty E4880; NGA 17056.
Hoskoy Feneri
Hoşköy Light, Hoşköy
Turkish Coastal Safety Directorate photo

Dardanelles European Side Lighthouses

Western Çanakkale Province Lighthouses
Note: The Dardanelles is the strait connecting the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean Sea. The strait is 61 km (38 mi) long and varies in width from 1.2 km (3/4 mi) to 6 km (3.7 mi). The strait was also known historically as the Hellespont, but its modern Turkish name is the Çanakkale Strait (Çanakkale Boğazı) after the town of Çanakkale on the east shore of the strait.
* Gelibolu (Gallipoli)
1856. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) round cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story masonry keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white. A good photo is available, Izzet Kirbas has a closeup, Serdar Sagkan has a closeup taken from the land side, Ben Rose has a distant view and a closeup, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse marks the northern entrance to the narrow portion of the Dardanelles. Gelibolu (Gallipoli) was the scene of an unsuccessful siege by Allied troops in 1915, during World War I. The battlefields are a major tourist attraction, but the lighthouse doesn't get much attention from visitors. Located on a bluff in Gelibolu, on the northwest side of the strait. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS TUR-023; Admiralty E4878; NGA 17048.
Karakova (2)
Date unknown (station established 1858). Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 6 s. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped metal or fiberglass tower, painted white. A ruined keeper's cottage, white with a red tile roof, stands near the lighthouse. Charles Bash has a small Coastal Directorate photo (1/4 the way down the page), and Google has a distant satellite view. Located on a point of land projecting from the European side of the strait about 9 km (4.5 mi) southwest of Gelibolu. Site status unknown. Admiralty E4872; NGA 17036.
Eceabat Range Front
1969. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); quick-flashing white light. 11 m (36 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery. Beside the lighthouse is a square 1-story concrete equipment building. The tower also carries a diamond-shaped slatted daymark. Entire lighthouse and daymark painted white. No photo available, and the tower has not been found in Bing's satellite view. The range guides southbound vessels approaching a near right-angle turn in the strait. Located on a hillside in Eceabat, on the west (European) side of the strait. Site status unknown. Admiralty 4858; NGA 17004.
Eceabat Range Rear
1969. Active; focal plane 43 m (141 ft); quick-flashing white light. 13 m (43 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery, mounted on a square 1-story concrete equipment building. The tower also carries a diamond-shaped slatted daymark. Entire lighthouse and daymark painted white. No photo available, and the tower has not been found in Bing's satellite view. Located on a wooded hillside in Eceabat, on the west (European) side of the strait. Site status unknown. Admiralty 4858.1; NGA 17008.
* Mehmetçik (Cape Helles) (2)
1919 (station established 1856). Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); flash every 5 s, white or red depending on direction. 25 m (82 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story masonry keeper's house. 2nd order (?) Fresnel lens in use. Lighthouse painted white. Tim Hendrix's photo is at right, a good 2005 photo is available, Lightphotos.net has a view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse, a 10 m (33 ft) stone tower, did not survive World War I. Cape Helles is the cape at the north (European) side of the Dardanelles (or the Hellespont, as it was known in ancient Greece). Located on the point of the cape near Seddülbahir. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS TUR-042; Admiralty E4850; NGA 16956.
Mehmetçik Light
Mehmetçik (Cape Helles) Light, Seddülbahir, March 2009
Flickr photo copyright Tim Hendrix; used by permission

Gökçeada Lighthouse

Note: The 1923 Treaty of Lausanne between Greece and Turkey confirmed Turkish ownership of all of the Anatolian mainland and Greek ownership of all of the Aegean islands except Gökçeada (Imbros or İmroz) and Bozcaada (Tenedos). These two islands were placed under Turkish administration because they flank the entrance to the Dardanelles. The islands are administered as part of Çanakkale Province. Bozcaada lighthouses are listed on the Northwestern Anatolia page.
* Kaleköy
1960. Active; focal plane 49 m (161 ft); white flash every 3 s. 9 m (30 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower mounted atop a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse painted white. Charles Bash has a small Coastal Directorate photo (second photo on the page), and Google has a satellite view. This light guides ships into the harbor of Kaleköy, the principal port of Gökçeada. Gökçeada, the largest Turkish island in the Aegean Sea, is about 16 km (10 mi) northwest of Cape Helles, the entrance to the Dardenelles. Located atop a steep bluff on the east side of the harbor of Kaleköy, on the north side of Gökçeada. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E4559.4; NGA 16932.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Bulgaria | East: Northwestern Anatolia | West: Northern Greece

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Created April 16, 2007. Checked and revised October 18, 2013. Lighthouses: 26. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.