«The island is not to be sold to Turks»
“Little Amorgos” became famous after the news that saw the light of publicity talking about it being sold by the Hellenic country to a Turk businessman.
Antonis Vekris, who appears to be the owner of “Little Amorgos” clarifies that he would never let the Turks have it, no matter how much money the offered.
The inhabited islands of the Cyclades may be just 24, but the uninhabited ones are over 100 and, some some of them are privately owned. One such island is “Amorgopoula” or “Little Amorgos”. This is a real “gem” near the island of ‘big blue’, which was only recently brought under the light of publicity as, according to sources, it was being sold to a Turk businessman.
The truth is that the sale of “Little Amorgos” started as a joke among friends … and became a hoax that not only hurts the prestige of a sole family but, Greece altogether. The island is privately owned by the family of Antonis Vekris. Moreover, the Vekris family possesses ownership titles validated by the Hellenic state since 1860 (!)
Mr. Vekris, who lives between Amorgos and Athens and works with his five children in his artisanships, speaks to “Ethnos” and clarifies what’s going on with the island ownership, what his plans are and, of course, what were the reactions of the people of Amorgos to the news that presented the “Amorgopoula” island as being sold to a Turk businessman.
He solves the island’s name puzzle by saying that it is called “Anyndros” (=”rainless”) or “Amorgopoula”. Nobody knows the island as “Little Amorgos” and no such reference exists in the nautical charts. Apparently, the name “Little Amorgos” resulted from the translation of an English word and is far from the reality. The island is located 10 nautical miles south of Amorgos and 20 miles north of Santorini. It is owned by my wife’s family and essentially belongs to the two sisters; my wife and her sister. “
Describing the island, Mr. Vekris says that “it is nothing more than pasture. A typical Cycladic island with the familiar vegetation where there are no trees or beaches; just mountainous land. It stretches over 1,200 acres and there are also several ruins”
The “bill of sale”
The artisan from Amorgos says: “I never hid the fact that the island is up for sale. 15 years ago, my family decided to sell the island -as it belongs to us 100%- and so we placed an advertisement in two newspapers. Meanwhile, some brokers who saw the advert expressed an interest to represent the island and, after the relevant market reserch, we set the price. However, no one ever expressed interest and we didn’t ever receive a written proposal. Perhaps the offices abroad translated this ad and as the property being sold by the Greek state. We never said that we’re not interested in selling. However, I would never sell to Turk businessmen. No matter how much the paid. To a Hellenic shipowner, yes. To a Turk though, never”. So said mister Vekris who refused to be photographed. “The photographs of Amorgopoula suffice”, he said.
Panagiotis Karanikas for ETHNOS