Galatasaray Island, also known as Kurucesme Island, is named with this name because the right of construction belongs to Galatasaray, one of the leading sports clubs of Turkey. It is an islet about 150-160 meters off the Kurucesme Coast in Besiktas district of Istanbul.
All the buildings on the island, which had various food & beverage and entertainment facilities and an Olympic pool over a period, were destroyed in 2019 due to illegal construction. The history of Galatasaray Island, whose fate is uncertain, is extremely interesting.
The island, which was gifted to architect Sarkis Balyan by the Ottoman Sultan Abdulaziz in 1872, started to be used as a depot from the beginning of the 20th century. It was bought by Galatasaray Sports Club in 1957, after being used for many years as a small platform where ferries could buy fuel. The island, which served mainly as a training area for rowing until 1992, was rented to be used as a restaurant and entertainment place based on income for the club. It serves as an elegant facility for a long time with its outdoor pool, bars, and restaurants.
Galatasaray Island, which has been an indispensable place for club-related events such as council board meetings and championship celebrations for many years, is expected to be brought back to tourism in the future.