Dardanelles in Turkey
The Dardanelles in Turkey is a sun-drenched narrow strip of water that separates Europe from Asia. The area has been of strategic importance for centuries. The strait connects the Aegean with the Sea of Marmara. As a gateway between the Black and Mediterranean Seas, the Strait of Dardanelles is crucial in commercial trade and military operations.
Battle of Gallipoli
The battle of Gallipoli took place near Çanakkale and the Gallipoli peninsula in the then Ottoman Empire Battle. The Allies tried – in vain – to conquer Istanbul to secure the sea route to Russia. Atatürk was one of the commanders at Gallipoli.
Eight years later, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk led the Turkish War of Independence and established the Republic of Turkey.
Role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
This is where those interested in military history can indulge themselves because the Dardanelles played a decisive role from the Trojan War (1184 BC) to the modern Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ships carrying grain, oil and weapons to and from Ukraine still have to use the strait to import and export their products.
So, where do you need to go to see the places of interest?
Places of interest in Çanakkale
Çanakkale is an unremarkable provincial capital in the Dardanelles. The city is a good base for visiting Troy and Gallipoli. In Çanakkale itself, apart from the maritime museum, the market and the boulevard, there is not much to see.
For those interested in historical bombs and grenades, Kale-i Sultaniye, now Çimenlik Kalesi, must be Valhalla. The imposing castle currently functions as a maritime museum. The building is crammed with war paraphernalia. A depressing array of pictures of dying soldiers, weapons, guns, uniforms, statues, paintings, guns and grenades. The museum mainly functions to display the glory of the great Ottoman Empire.
You have to pay extra to take pictures in and around the museum. Don’t do it. It is not worth it!
In the harbour lies a naval ship that played a decisive role in the battle of Gallipoli. It can be visited with the same entrance ticket.
The market at Çanakkale Pazar Yeri, 17100 Merkez is huge. You can get everything your heart desires here. Fish, vegetables, and clothes in all shapes and sizes.
The most attractive part of the city is the wide promenade with cafes and restaurants on the water. You can see the wooden horse made for the movie Troy, starring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom.
With the ferry, one can cross from Çanakkale to Kilibahir or Eceabat. The Kilibahir Castle is beautifully restored. At Eceabat is an impressive war memorial.
Troy on the Dardanelles
The city of Troy, the one of Helen and the wooden horse, is located in northwestern Turkey on the Dardanelles. The city can be visited, but little is left of the legendary Troy.
The excavation is divided into nine layers, each of which is divided into different construction periods.
The oldest layer is five thousand years old, and the youngest dates from the Byzantine period (circa 753 BC to 476 AD). This is because Troy was destroyed several times and then rebuilt on the ruins of the previous one.
Even with the bare torso of Brad Pitt as Achilles in the movie Troy in mind, the excavations do little to fire the imagination. You must already know quite a bit about archaeology, or have a guided tour to be able to visualize the historic city.
Çanakkale – Troy
To go to Troy (Truva in Turkish), take the Dolmus minibus at Namık Kemal, Minibüs Garajı, 17000 Çanakkale. The ride takes about 45 minutes and costs 30 Turkish Lira, which is about €1.50 (in October 2022).
Thousands of years of ‘civilization’ in the Dardanelles
Ancient olive and exuberant fig trees grow among the Trojan ruins. A lonely bench stands underneath. The sweet smell of figs, the sun and a breeze, create the perfect place for reflection to wonder what thousands of years of ‘civilization’ have brought us.
I leave the conclusion to you.
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