36.363798627.1362305Koordinaten: 36 ° 22 ' N, 27 ° 8' O

The Dodecanese (. Dodekanisa Greek Δωδεκάνησα ( n pl) or Dodekanisos Δωδεκάνησος ( f sg ) to gr Dodeka δώδεκα, twelve ' and Nisos νήσος, island ') is a group of islands in the eastern Aegean Sea belonging to Greece since 1946 and 1955 was established as a prefecture. With the administrative reform of 2010, the prefecture was abolished and divided into four regional districts of the South Aegean region, but for the Regional Council have apart from the seat allocation no political significance.

Dodecanese The name is derived from the Greek words for ' twelve islands ' by the dozen main islands. Inhabited about 25 of the islands today. Geographically include most of the approximately 160 Dodecanese islands to the archipelago of the Southern Sporades.

The small but historically important island Kastellorizo ​​further east directly off the Turkish coast is part of the historical and political reasons, the Dodecanese, but not geographically to the Sporades. Since only the northernmost islands of the Southern Sporades - Samos, Ikaria and Fourni - did not count to the prefecture of Dodecanese, the geographical name Southern Sporades and the Dodecanese political designation are often wrongly regarded as synonymous.


The name Dodecanese first appears in the Early Middle Ages, here but refers to Naxos and unspecified identifiable twelve Cyclades islands of the topic Aigeion Pelagos or is synonymous with the theme itself, the Southern Sporades were from about 730 on the subject of Kibyrrhaeoten that the southwest coast of Anatolia with included. The Western rulers after the Fourth Crusade used the term Sporades, in the administration of the Ottoman Empire they were considered part of the Eyâlets, later the vilayets cezayir -i Bahr -i Sefid ( Ottoman جزائر بحر سفيد, " islands in the Mediterranean ", Turkish Akdeniz Adalari ) sometimes referred to as " Sporaden " or as "privileged islands". The first mention of the term in the modern age is that may emerge from the protest of twelve islands against the abolition of control and self- administrative privileges by the government of the Young Turks in 1908. Among these twelve islands Ikaria and Kastelorizo ​​, but not Rhodes, Kos and Lipsi were After the conquest by Italy, the term remained popular and was then (without Lipsi ) of the Italian territory (ie without Ikaria and Kastelorizo ​​) based on the twelve main islands, the officially but "islands of the Aegean" was called Isole dell'Egeo. In Turkish sources the name is also explained by the twelve-member Island Councils, was selected from the middle of the island chief. Only with the membership of Greece in 1947, the name was officially Dodecanese (including Kastelorizos ). " Classical " twelve islands that were traditionally associated with the name, but there is no.


In ancient Greece there were some politically independent islands (especially the long still significant Rhodes, Kos also ).

On Rhodes had the Order of St. John (now Malta ) 1309-1522 his seat and headed from there to defend against the advancing Ottoman Empire.

Under the 450 -year Turkish rule the Dodecanese islands enjoyed significant privileges and benefits. The Ottoman Turks mingled relatively little in the internal affairs of the islands. It succeeded in establishing an independent administration, schools, and medical care. Later, when they eliminated some privileges, it came in 1908 to the joint protest of the twelve islands. The Turks beat down the protest. After the occupation by Italian troops in April and May 1912, the islands declared on 4 Junijul. / June 17 1912greg. the autonomous Greek state of the Aegean ( Πολιτεία του Αιγαίου ), who had connection to Greece as a destination. As part of the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, these islands were ceded by Turkey to Italy and were called to 1943 "Italian Aegean Islands ". The Italians left of Patmos to Rhodes numerous buildings, promoted the infrastructure and made compulsory Italian language. Even now you can still occasionally hear a few words of Italian.

From November 1943 until the end of World War II in May 1945, the islands were in German until 1947 in British hands. Only then was the island group, the arc spanned by the Turkish coast, ceded to Greece. The Dodecanese forms the southeastern part of the Greek territory. Capital, administrative and economic center of the 2010 resolution in the course of Kallikratis program Prefecture was Rhodes. Since then, the islands belong to Administrative Region of South Aegean.

In 1996 it was north of Kos at a quaint territorial conflict over the uninhabited islets of Imia.

Churches and castles, mansions and buildings in traditional style, narrow alleys and beautiful bays along the coasts are characteristic of all inhabited islands.

Administrative divisions

From 1997-2010, the Dodecanese prefecture (→ List of municipalities in the Dodecanese ( 1997-2010 ) ) was divided into 25 urban and two rural communities. With the administrative reform of 2010, these have been grouped into 15 larger municipalities, with none of the islands is more divided into different communities. The powers of the Dodecanese Prefecture were transferred to the Region Southern Aegean Sea and the communities. Instead of four prefecture Regionelbezirke ( gr periferiakes enotites ) were established, which have no independent political significance and largely correspond to the areas of the provinces from the period before 1997.