The past: The Agios Yannis Church

It was linked to the Fener Rum Patriarchy in Istanbul during Patriarch Theodosios' period. The main church was in the northwest, and the chapel we see today was an integral part of the complex. The monastery library started to expand in 1835, and became famous not only for religious books, but also for material on 17th and 18th Century church law.

After the forced exchange of the Greek and Turkish residents in this area in 1924, the chapel began to fall into disrepair.

Of the windmill, which was located to the west of the chapel and provided flour to the monastery, all that remained was the foundation.

The present: The Sevim - Necdet Kent Library

After many years of dereliction, the windmill and church were restored with the financial and moral support of Mr. Rahmi M. Koç, thereby saving these monuments to our cultural heritage for posterity. The island of Alibey thus became the proud possessor of a major new library on 7th August 2007.

This library, which is operated by the Rahmi M. Koç Museology and Culture Foundation, is named after retired ambassador Mr. Necdet H. Kent and his wife. Mr Kent apparently said, when his eyesight began failing in old age: 'I am not so sorry that I cannot see, only that I cannot read.' Mr. Kent's son, Mr. Muhtar Kent, has donated a complete set of more than 1,300 of his late father's volumes to this library.

Mr Necdet Kent
A Turkish diplomat who lived between 1911-2002.
He was posted as Consul General to Marseilles between 1941 and 1944, gave Turkish citizenship to dozens of Turkish Jews living in France who did not have adequate identity papers.

On one occasion in 1943, Kent boarded a train bound for the Auschwitz concentration camp, with some 70 Jews with Turkish citizenship on board. After more than an hour on the train, the guards were persuaded to let Kent and the Jews leave.

But Kent's heroism was not limited to this one action. In contrast to some of the other foreign consulates stationed in Marseilles, who began imitating the Nazis' antipathy towards Jews, Kent issued Turkish identity documents to scores of Turkish Jews in southern France who did not hold valid Turkish passports.

In 2001, Kent and two other diplomats, Namik Kemal Yolga and Selahattin Ulkumen, were honoured with Turkey's Supreme Service Medal as well as a special medal from Israel for rescuing Jews during the Holocaust. After World War II, Kent served as Consul General of Turkey in New York and was ambassador to Thailand, India, Iran, Sweden and Poland.

Mr Sevim Kent
She lived between the years 1918 an 2000 and was the daughter of Sezai Omer Madra, prominent civic and business leader from Ayvalik. Married Necdet Kent in 1950 and moved to New York. She was an accomplished painter and ceramic artist.

Credits:
Concept: Rahmi M. Koç
General co-ordinator: Dr. Bülent Bulgurlu
Architectural design: Neşe Ergin, Esen Balıbek
Site architect: Ali Erdoğan
Contractors: Ark İnşaat, Rahmi M. Koç Museum Workshop

The mill is used as a customer service area, and the terrace café is a fine place for visitors to relax, reflect, and enjoy the panoramic view. Souvenirs and special local olive oil are on sale here.

Visitor Information 
The library is open everyday between 09:30 - 17:30 except Mondays.
The Panorama Café, serving light refreshments, is open every day from 09:30.

Internet access is available.
Admission is free.

Public transport : the public bus service from Ayvalik to Alibey Island, or minibus service. There are also boats that leave hourly from Ayvalik Port to Alibey Island.
There is a small car park in front of the library: other car parking is available in Cunda village centre itself.

Garip Sokak Aralığı No: 5
Alibey Adası
Ayvalık-Balıkesir Phone: 0266 327 3300
www.rmk-museum.org.tr