Canakkale is one of the unique city of Turkey both archeological and ethnographical great past situated in the northwest of the country and a gateway between Europe and Asia which was founded on two continents. Dardanel, one of the main water straits of Turkey separating into two with Bosphorus, is the trademark of this city. Çanakkale is also known as the home Trojan wars, land of Gallipoli and martyrs of World War I where thousands of young Turks and Anzac troops lost their lives during the battlefields. (over half a million soldiers) Today millions of visitors, both foreigners, and Turks come to see memorial monuments, tombs, graves and cemeteries to respect their forefathers’ memories every year on 25th of April.
ATATURK’S SPEECH ON GALIPOLI(1934):
Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives … You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours … You, the mothers who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.
Looking for cost-effective solutions to visit Canakkale? At Tour Maker Turkey, we offer the best priced Canakkale tour packages for you and your family. After picking you from the airport, seaport or a hotel, our travel guide will take you Canakkale’s renowned locations, such as Gallipoli National Park and Mirror Mall.
History of Canakkale
There has been evidence of a settlement in the Çanakkale area since 3000 BC almost countless ancient cities lined both banks of the Dardanelles. Due to its strategic location on a major sea passage, the area is rich in history and culture and was the scene of the Trojan War and the crossings of Xerxes’ Persians and Alexander the Great’s Macedonians in opposite directions about one century and a half apart.
During World War I, Çanakkale and the adjoining areas on both sides of the Dardanelles were the stage of a year-long battle between the United Kingdom, France and the Ottoman Empire. From April 1915 to January 1916, a joint British and French operation was mounted to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (now Istanbul), with the fieriest conflict taking place on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The attempt failed, but not without heavy casualties on both sides.
What to See & Do in Çanakkale
The first thing to look at in Çanakkale is the Dardanelles (Hellespont, Çanakkale Boğazı), the broad strait with a fast current that separates Gallipoli and Europe from Çanakkale and Asia (map).
Also known as the Hellespont, the Dardanelles is also famous as a challenge to swimmers. Legend has it that a youth named Leander swam it nightly to secretly visit his lover Hero on the far shore, but one night was swept away to his death by the swift current.
Çanakkale makes the best base for visiting the Gallipoli battlefields on the Gallipoli peninsula across the Dardanelles from Çanakkale. If you don’t have your own vehicle, you probably want to take a tour because the historic sites are spread over many kilometers on the peninsula.
The Military Museum (Askeri Müzesi) in Çimenlik fortress is open to visits, and it’s right in Çanakkale, an easy walk from the main square, ferry docks, and clock tower. (Here’s more on the Gallipoli campaign and battlefields.)
Çanakkale’s Archeology Museum (Arkeoloji Müzesi) is more than 2 km (1.3 miles) south of the main square and clock tower, a walk of about 25 to 30 minutes. Exhibits range from ancient fossils through the Bronze Age to more modern times, with some exhibits being about Troy.