AEGEAN ISLANDS NÍSOI AIYAÍOU.
All the Aegean islands, except one island of middling size, Gödçeara (Imroz), which is west of the Gallipoli peninsula, and some small ones close to the shores of Turkey, have belonged to Greece since 1947.
They belonged to the Byzantine Empire, though some of the eastern islands were briefly occupied by the Arabs in the 670s, when they besieged Constantinople.
After the collapse of the Empire in 1204, the western islands were held by Venetian families and only the Northern Sporadhes amongst them were later recovered by Byzantium. It did however recover the northern and eastern islands, which had been either in the Latin Empire or under local rule after 1204. In the 14th century the eastern islands became Genoese, while the Dodecanese in the southeast were held by the Knights Hospitaller. The Ottoman Turks slowly extended their rule in the 15th and 16th centuries; in 1566 their seizure of Chios (Genoese) and the Cyclades (Venetian) virtually completed the conquest, though Tenos in the northern Cyclades remained Venetian until 1715.
In 1830 the western islands became part of the new Greece. The northern and eastern islands became Greek in 1913, the Dodecanese in 1947 (having been held by.Italy, 1912-43, and then under occupation first by German and then by allied troops).
The eastern and southern islands formed the Aegean Islands Region until 1987, when it was divided into two. The North Aegean Region (Vórion Aiyaíon) consists of Samos, Chios, Lesvos, and Lemnos; the South Aegean Region (Nótion Aiyaíon) of the Cyclades and the Dodecanese.