In my travel articles, I have repeatedly mentioned trips to the Princes' Islands. This archipelago is one of the most popular recreational destinations for Istanbul residents and visiting tourists. During one of my walks on the largest island in this group, called Büyükada, I decided to explore the ruins of Leon Trotsky's house. The Russian revolutionary spent four years here.
How to Find Trotsky's House
You can reach Büyükada from numerous Istanbul ferry terminals located on both the European and Asian sides of the metropolis. You can conveniently check the ferry schedule on the city's transportation website.
The ruins of the house are about a 20-minute walk from the popular island docks. The address of the attraction is Hamlacı Sk. No:6. In Google Maps, the building can be found by searching for Troçki Evi or House of Trotsky. For those who fear getting lost or just want to diversify their stroll, I would recommend going there with a guided tour.
A Bit of History
Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky arrived in Istanbul in 1929. He was sentenced to exile from the USSR on January 18, and the following month Trotsky, along with his companion and son, arrived in Turkey. The reason for his exile was an accusation of counter-revolutionary activities.
The house on the island was built before Trotsky moved here. Initially, the building was intended for one of the Greek bankers to reside in. Later, the house was occupied by the head of Sultan Abdulhamid's secret police.
Trotsky lived in the house on the Turkish island from 1929 to 1933. Here, he worked on his work "History of the Russian Revolution." After Turkey, the renowned Russian emigrant lived in France, Norway, and Mexico. In 1940, Trotsky was fatally wounded with an ice axe.
Today, the former residence of Leon Trotsky is a partially ruined three-story building, fenced off. A sign prohibiting entry onto the premises is installed on the fence, but some details of the building can be seen from the street.
Media reports include statements from local researchers who believe that no one lived in the house after Trotsky. Nevertheless, in recent times, the house has changed hands several times. The cost of the dilapidated structure is mentioned as exorbitant—five million euros (as of 2010).
It is also written online that the area of the three-story house is 950 square meters. There were 18 living rooms and five bathrooms. I don't know if this is true. One thing is clear: if the building continues to deteriorate, in a few years, visitors to the island will no longer see this historical landmark.
Have a nice trip!