Interesting history of Sarti
People from Sarti told us an interesting story about their small town.
Sarti now has about 800 inhabitants during the winter. Their ancestors were expelled from Turkey, from Asia Minor, from the island of Avşa at the beginning of the twentieth century. In fear of slaughter from the Turks, the Greeks sent ships to them and saved them by transporting them all to Athens.
However, they were not told that they are leaving their village forever, and so they left behind everything they had, shops and houses, not bringing any of their goods with them. A week after arriving in Athens, a group of locals returned to the island of Avşa where they found their houses burned, destroyed and looted. They returned to Athens sad and with bad news. Being dissatisfied with life in Athens, unaccustomed to a large city, they chose six of them to look for a place in Greece that resembled the village they had left. So the bravest and the healthiest went in search of a new home.
After a few months, they found Sarti, a place that was free of population at that time, but which was identic in appearance to their home village. Of course, they called it Avşa.
They returned to Athens and brought with them all those who believed them and wanted a new life. Not everybody went, but later they joined them. Initially, they were poor, without place to live and food, they were starving and sick, and the locals of the rich village of Sykia weren't very benevolent towards newcomers and didn't help them. However, monks from the Metochi Monastery accepted them and helped them survive until they got on their feet. They spent two years in the monastery, and during that time, they built small houses on the coast of Sarti, some of which can still be seen in the old part of Sarti. They were engaged exclusively in fishing.
The Metochi Monastery also represents a great sanctuary for all Sarti's residents.
After years of hard life, a small fishing village of Avşa has grown into a tourist town of Sarti, and tourism has significantly contributed to the development and today's prosperity in which they live. The monastery was not forgotten, nor was the behavior of Sykia's inhabitants. They did not forget their birthplace, which is visited by many Sarti people once a year, while some of them find visits to the village too painful. Avşa, today, is very similar to Sarti. All this happened around 1922, so there are still several old people in Sarti who remember their arrival here.
Now when you walk the streets of old Sarti and see small houses from old times between modern villas and hotels, I am sure that you will remember these stories and have a different view of the town and its inhabitants.