Traditional economic activities are fishing and wine production. The reminder of arable land is covered by olive trees and wheat fields. Most of the agriculture is done on the central plains and gentle hills of the island. Red poppies of the island are used to produce small quantities of sharbat and jam. Sheep and goats are grazed at hilly northeastern and southeastern part of the island which is not suitable for agriculture.
Tourism has been an important, but limited, economic activity since the 1970s but it developed rapidly from the 1990s onwards. In 2000, a wind farm of 17 turbines was erected at the western cape. It produces 10.2 MW energy, much more than the need of island. Excess power is transferred to mainland Anatolia through an underground (and partially submarine) cable. Care was taken not to use overhead cables and pylons in order not to disturb the scenery of the island.
In 2012, the Turkish government opened a customs office on the island, possibly opening the way for future direct travel between Greek ports and the island