|The city of
Canakkale lies at the narrow, 1,200 meter entrance to the Canakkale Strait
(the Dardanelles) that connects the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean.
Passenger and car ferries run daily between Canakkale on the Asian side
and Eceabat and Kilitbahir on the European side. Yachts navigating the
straits stop at the well-equipped Canakkale Marina to allow tourists more
time in the area. Hotels, restaurants and cafes along the promenade offer
a place to enjoy the traffic in the harbor, as well as a view of the
Kilitbahir Fortress and the Canakkale Archeological Museum. In 1451,
Sultan Mehmet II, later the conqueror of
Istanbul, built one fortress on
the European side of the Canakkale Strait at Kilitbahir and one on the
opposite shore at Cimenlik to control the passage of ships through the
strait. Today the Cimenlik fortress serves as a military museum dedicated
to the World War I Battle of Canakkale.
Gelibolu Peninsula Historical National Park was established to honor the
500, 000 soldiers who gave their lives on Gelibolu, also known as
Gallipoli. In 1915,
Mustafa Kemal, commander of the Turkish army, led a
successful campaign to drive out allied powers from the area. The park
includes memorials, monuments, cemeteries, the natural beauty of the
Ariburnu Cliffs and Tuz Golu (Salt Lake). The beauty of the green hills,
sandy beaches and blue waters provides an honorable resting place for the
soldiers who bravely faught and died in this historic You cannot help but
sense the heart of the Turkish nation in the patriotic spirit of the place.
Homer immortalized Truva (Troy) in his stories of King Priam, Hector, Pans
and the beautiful Helen. Archeological excavations have revealed nine
separate periods of settlement including ruins of city walls, house
foundations, a temple and a theatre. A symbolic wooden Trojan horse
commemorates the legendary war.
Gelibolu National Park
|The ancient harbor
of Alexandria-Troas was built in the 3rd century B.C.
St. Paul passed
through twice, and then on his third missionary journey, he continued on
to Assos. As you approach Bozcaada Island, the Venetian castle commands
your attention. Then your eyes are drawn to the glistening white houses
and the restaurants and cafes which line the promenade. Wine seems as
plentiful as water on this island; a tour reveals many vineyards and wine
cellars. There are good, sandy beaches at Ayazma, Poyraz and Igdelik. The
largest of the Turkish islands, Gokceada is ringed with pristine bays. Its
hills, covered with the greens of pine and olive trees, are dotted with
sacred springs and monasteries. Regularly scheduled ferry boats make the
trip from Canakkale and Kabatepe. In August, islanders and tourists gather
for colorful local fairs.