Coordinates: 40°12′N 26°24′E / 40.2°N 26.4°E

Dardanelles is located in Europe
A map depicting the locations of the Turkish Straits, with the Dardanelles in red. The sovereign national territory of Turkey is highlighted in green.
Turkish Strait disambig
Map showing the location of the Dardanelles (yellow), relative to the Bosporus (red), the Sea of Marmara, the Aegean Sea, and the Black Sea.
Gallipoli peninsula from space
Satellite image of the Dardanelles, taken from the Landsat 7 in September 2006. The body of water on the left is the Aegean Sea, while the one on the upper right is the Sea of Marmara. The Dardanelles is the tapered waterway running diagonally between the two seas, from the northeast to the southwest. The long, narrow upper peninsula on the northern shores of the strait is Gallipoli (Turkish: Gelibolu), and constitutes the banks of the continent of Europe, while the lower peninsula is Troad (Turkish: Biga) and constitutes the banks of the continent of Asia. The city of Çanakkale is visible along the shores of the lower peninsula, centered at the only point where a sharp outcropping juts into the otherwise-linear Dardanelles.
Dardanelles map2
Close-up topographic map of the Dardanelles.

The Dardanelles (/dɑːrdəˈnɛlz/; Turkish: Çanakkale Boğazı, Greek: Δαρδανέλλια, translit. Dardanellia), also known from Classical Antiquity as the Hellespont (/ˈhɛlɪspɒnt/; Greek: Ἑλλήσποντος, Hellespontos, literally "Sea of Helle"), is a narrow, natural strait and internationally significant waterway in northwestern Turkey that forms part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia, and separates Asian Turkey from European Turkey. One of the world's narrowest straits used for international navigation, the Dardanelles connects the Sea of Marmara with the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, while also allowing passage to the Black Sea by extension via the Bosphorus. The Dardanelles is 61 kilometres (38 mi) long, and 1.2 to 6 kilometres (0.75 to 3.73 mi) wide, averaging 55 metres (180 ft) deep with a maximum depth of 103 metres (338 ft) at its narrowest point abreast the city of Çanakkale.

Most of the northern shores of the strait along the Gallipoli Peninsula (Turkish: Gelibolu) are sparsely settled, while the southern shores along the Troad Peninsula (Turkish: Biga) are inhabited by the city of Çanakkale's urban population of 110,000.

Together with the Bosphorus, the Dardanelles forms the Turkish Straits.


The contemporary Turkish name Çanakkale Boğazı, meaning "Çanakkale Strait", is derived from the eponymous midsize city that adjoins the strait, itself meaning "Pottery Fort"—from Çanak (pottery) + Kale (Fortress)—in reference to the area's famous pottery and ceramic wares, and the landmark Ottoman fortress of Sultaniye.

The English name Dardanelles is an abbreviation of Strait of the Dardanelles. During Ottoman times there was a castle on each side of the strait. These castles together were called the Dardanelles,[1][2] probably named after Dardanus, an ancient city on the Asian shore of the strait which in turn was said to take its name from Dardanus, the mythical son of Zeus and Electra.

The ancient Greek name Ἑλλήσποντος (Hellespontos) means "Sea of Helle", and was the ancient name of the narrow strait. It was variously named in classical literature Hellespontium Pelagus, Rectum Hellesponticum, and Fretum Hellesponticum. It was so called from Helle, the daughter of Athamas, who was drowned here in the mythology of the Golden Fleece.


As a maritime waterway, the Dardanelles connects various seas along the Eastern Mediterranean, the Balkans, the Near East, and Western Eurasia, and specifically connects the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. The Marmara further connects to the Black Sea via the Bosphorus, while the Aegean further links to the Mediterranean. Thus, the Dardanelles allows maritime connections from the Black Sea all the way to the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean via Gibraltar, and the Indian Ocean through the Suez Canal, making it a crucial international waterway, in particular for the passage of goods coming in from Russia.

The strait is located at approximately 40°13′N 26°26′E / 40.217°N 26.433°E.

Present morphology

The strait is 61 kilometres (38 mi) long, and 1.2 to 6 kilometres (0.75 to 3.73 mi) wide, averaging 55 metres (180 ft) deep with a maximum depth of 103 metres (338 ft) at its narrowest point at Nara Burnu, abreast Çanakkale.[3] There are two major currents through the strait: a surface current flows from the Black Sea towards the Aegean Sea, and a more saline undercurrent flows in the opposite direction.[4]

The Dardanelles is unique in many respects. The very narrow and winding shape of the strait is more akin to that of a river. It is considered one of the most hazardous, crowded, difficult and potentially dangerous waterways in the world. The currents produced by the tidal action in the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara are such that ships under sail must await at anchorage for the right conditions before entering the Dardanelles.


As part of the only passage between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, the Dardanelles has always been of great importance from a commercial and military point of view, and remains strategically important today. It is a major sea access route for numerous countries, including Russia and Ukraine. Control over it has been an objective of a number of hostilities in modern history, notably the attack of the Allied Powers on the Dardanelles during the 1915 Battle of Gallipoli in the course of World War I.

Ancient Greek, Persian, Roman, and Byzantine eras (pre-1354)

Greek and Persian history

The ancient city of Troy was located near the western entrance of the strait, and the strait's Asiatic shore was the focus of the Trojan War. Troy was able to control the marine traffic entering this vital waterway. The Persian army of Xerxes I of Persia and later the Macedonian army of Alexander the Great crossed the Dardanelles in opposite directions to invade each other's lands, in 480 BC and 334 BC respectively.

Herodotus tells us that, circa 482 BC, Xerxes I (the son of Darius) had two pontoon bridges built across the width of the Hellespont at Abydos, in order that his huge army could cross from Persia into Greece. This crossing was named by Aeschylus in his tragedy The Persians as the cause of divine intervention against Xerxes.[5]

According to Herodotus (vv.34), both bridges were destroyed by a storm and Xerxes had those responsible for building the bridges beheaded and the strait itself whipped. The Histories of Herodotus vii.33–37 and vii.54–58 give details of building and crossing of Xerxes' Pontoon Bridges. Xerxes is then said to have thrown fetters into the strait, given it three hundred lashes and branded it with red-hot irons as the soldiers shouted at the water.[6]

Herodotus commented that this was a "highly presumptuous way to address the Hellespont" but in no way atypical of Xerxes. (vii.35)

Harpalus the engineer eventually helped the invading armies to cross by lashing the ships together with their bows facing the current and, so it is said, two additional anchors.

From the perspective of ancient Greek mythology, it was said that Helle, the daughter of Athamas, was drowned at the Dardanelles in the legend of the Golden Fleece. Likewise, the strait was the scene of the legend of Hero and Leander, wherein the lovesick Leander swam the strait nightly in order to tryst with his beloved, the priestess Hero, and was drowned in a storm.

Byzantine history

The Dardanelles were vital to the defence of Constantinople during the Byzantine period.

Also, the Dardanelles was an important source of income for the ruler of the region. At the Istanbul Archaeological Museum a marble plate contains a law by the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I (491–518 AD), that regulated fees for passage through the customs office of the Dardanelles. Translation:

... Whoever dares to violate these regulations shall no longer be regarded as a friend, and he shall be punished. Besides, the administrator of the Dardanelles must have the right to receive 50 golden Litrons, so that these rules, which we make out of piety, shall never ever be violated... ... The distinguished governor and major of the capital, who already has both hands full of things to do, has turned to our lofty piety in order to reorganize the entry and exit of all ships through the Dardanelles... ... Starting from our day and also in the future, anybody who wants to pass through the Dardanelles must pay the following:

– All wine merchants who bring wine to the capital (Constantinopolis), except Cilicians, have to pay the Dardanelles officials 6 follis and 2 sextarius of wine.
– In the same manner, all merchants of olive-oil, vegetables and lard must pay the Dardanelles officials 6 follis. Cilician sea-merchants have to pay 3 follis and in addition to that, 1 keration (12 follis) to enter, and 2 keration to exit.

– All wheat merchants have to pay the officials 3 follis per modius, and a further sum of 3 follis when leaving.

Since the 14th century the Dardanelles have almost continuously been controlled by the Turks.

Ottoman era (1354–1922)

The Dardanelles continued to constitute an important waterway under the reign of the Ottoman Empire, starting with the conquest of Gallipoli in 1354.

Ottoman control of the strait continued largely without interruption or challenges until the 19th century, when the Empire started its decline.

Nineteenth century

Gaining control or special access to the strait became a key foreign policy goal of the Russian Empire during the 19th century. During the Napoleonic Wars, Russia—supported by Great Britain in the Dardanelles Operationblockaded the straits in 1807. Following the Ottoman Empire's defeat in the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–29, in 1833 Russia pressured the Ottomans to sign the Treaty of Hunkiar Iskelesi—which required the straits to be closed to warships of non-Black Sea powers at Russia's request. That would have effectively given Russia a free hand in the Black Sea.

That treaty alarmed the losers, who were concerned that the consequences of potential Russian expansionism in the Black Sea and Mediterranean regions could conflict with their own possessions and economic interest in the regions. At the London Straits Convention in July 1841, the United Kingdom, France, Austria, and Prussia pressured Russia to agree that only Turkish warships could traverse the Dardanelles in peacetime. The United Kingdom and France subsequently sent their fleets through the straits to attack the Crimean Peninsula during the Crimean War (1853-1856) —but this was done as allies of the Ottoman Empire. That convention was formally reaffirmed by the Congress of Paris in 1856, following the Russian defeat in the Crimean War. It remained technically in force into the 20th and 21st centuries.

World War I

In 1915 the Allies sent a massive invasion force of British, Indian, Australian, New Zealand, French and Newfoundland troops to attempt to open up the straits. In the Gallipoli campaign, Turkish troops trapped the Allies on the beaches of the Gallipoli peninsula. The campaign did damage to the career of Winston Churchill, then the First Lord of the Admiralty, who had eagerly promoted the unsuccessful use of Royal Navy sea power to force open the straits. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, later founder of the Republic of Turkey, served as a commander for the Ottomans during the land campaign.

The Turks mined the straits to prevent Allied ships from penetrating them, but in minor actions, two submarines, one British and one Australian, did succeed in penetrating the minefields. The British one sank an obsolete Turkish pre-dreadnought battleship off the Golden Horn of Istanbul. Sir Ian Hamilton's Mediterranean Expeditionary Force failed in its attempt to capture the Gallipoli peninsula, and its withdrawal was ordered in December 1915, after eight months' fighting. Total Allied deaths included 43,000 British and Irish, 15,000 French, 8,700 Australians, 2,700 New Zealanders, 1,370 Indians and 49 Newfoundlanders. Total Turkish deaths were around 60,000.

Following the war, the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres demilitarized the strait and made it an international territory under the control of the League of Nations. The Ottoman Empire's non-ethnically Turkish territories were broken up and partitioned among the Allied Powers, and Turkish jurisdiction over the straits curbed.

Turkish republican and modern eras (1923–present)

After the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire following a lengthy campaign by Turks as part of the Turkish War of Independence against both the Allied Powers and the Ottoman court, the Republic of Turkey was created in 1923 by the Treaty of Lausanne, which established most of the modern sovereign territory of Turkey and restored the straits to Turkish territory, with the condition that Turkey keep them demilitarized and allow all foreign warships and commercial shipping to traverse the straits freely.

As part of its national security strategy, Turkey eventually rejected the terms of the treaty, and subsequently remilitarized the straits area over the following decade. Following extensive diplomatic negotiations, the reversion was formalized under the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Turkish Straits in July 20, 1936. That convention, which is still in force today, treats the straits as an international shipping lane while allowing Turkey to retain the right to restrict the naval traffic of non-Black Sea states.

During World War II, through February 1945, when Turkey was neutral for most of the length of the conflict, the Dardanelles were closed to the ships of the belligerent nations. Turkey declared war on Germany in February 1945, but it did not employ any offensive forces during the war.

In July 1946, the Soviet Union sent a note to Turkey proposing a new régime for the Dardanelles that would have excluded all nations except the Black Sea powers. The second proposal was that the straits should be put under joint Turkish-Soviet defence. This meant that Turkey, the Soviet Union, Bulgaria and Romania would be the only states having access to the Black Sea through the Dardanelles. The Turkish government however, under pressure from the United States, rejected these proposals.[7]

Turkey joined NATO in 1952, thus affording its straits even more strategic importance as a commercial and military waterway.

In more recent years, the Turkish Straits have become particularly important for the oil industry. Russian oil, from ports such as Novorossyisk, is exported by tankers primarily to western Europe and the U.S. via the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles straits.



The waters of the Dardanelles are traversed by numerous passenger and vehicular ferries daily, as well as recreational and fishing boats ranging from dinghies to yachts owned by both public and private entities.

The strait also experiences significant amounts of international commercial shipping traffic by freighters and tankers.


At present, there are no vehicular crossings across the strait. However, as part of planned expansions to the Turkish National Highway Network, the Turkish Government is considering the construction of a suspension bridge between Sarıçay (a district of Çanakkale Province) on the Asian side, to Kilitbahir on the European side, at the narrowest part of the strait.[8] In March 2017, construction of the Çanakkale 1915 Bridge between the cities of Gelibolu and Lapseki started.


2 submarine cable systems transmitting electric power at 400 kV voltage bridge the Dardanelles to feed west and east of Istanbul. They have their own landing stations in Lapseki and Sütlüce. The first, situated in the northeast quarter portion of the strait, has been energised in April 2015 and leads 2 GW via 6 phases 400 kV AC 3.9 km far thru the sea. The second, somewhat in the middle of the strait, has been still under construction in June 2016 and has quite similar data.

Both subsea power lines cross 4 optical fibre data lines laid earlier along the strait.[9] A published map shows communication lines leading from Istanbul into the Mediterranean, named MedNautilus and landing at Athens, Sicily and elsewhere.[10]

In popular culture

English Romantic poet Lord Byron (1788–1824) swam across the Dardanelles on 3 May 1810, and recorded it in his poem Don Juan (1821).[11][12]

Çanakkale, located along the southern shores of the strait, is the finishing point every year for an organised swim across the Dardanelles, which kicks off from Eceabat. This event emulates the swim in 1810 by Lord Byron, who was himself emulating the legendary swim by Leander in the story of Hero and Leander.

The shores of the strait are also the site of ancient Troy. The "wooden horse" from the 2004 movie Troy is exhibited on the seafront.

The Dardanelles is also the site of two notable maritime accidents in Turkish naval history, when two generations of the submarine TCG Dumlupinar were struck by tankers on their way back from naval missions. The first incident resulted in the deaths of 96 sailors, while the second incident had no fatalities.

Due to the importance of the Gallipoli Campaign in many countries' histories, the Dardanelles also features prominently in many documentaries and films about World War I.

The Dardanelles is mentioned in the song No place like London from the movie Sweeney Todd. The song is written and composed by Stephen Sondheim and sung by Johnny Depp and Jamie Campbell Bower. Jamie's character Anthony sings, "I have sailed the world, beheld its wonders, from the Dardanelles to the mountains of Peru...[13]"

"Bow Down to Washington", the fight song of the University of Washington, references the Dardanelles in the lyrics: "Our boys are there with bells, their fighting blood excels, it's harder to push them over the line than pass the Dardanelles."[14]

Image gallery

Xerxes lash sea

An artist's illustration depicting Xerxes' alleged "punishment" of the Hellespont.

Byzantine Dardanelles Customs Law

Marble plate with 6th century AD Byzantine law regulating payment of customs in the Dardanelles.

Dardanelles and Gulf of Saros by Piri Reis

Historic map of the Dardanelles by Piri Reis.

Anzac Beach 1915

The ANZACs at Gallipoli in 1915.

Graphic map of the Dardanelles

Map of the Dardanelles drawn by G.F. Morrell, 1915, showing the Gallipoli peninsula and the west coast of Turkey, as well as the location of front line troops and landings during the Gallipoli Campaign.

Landing French-Gallipoli

1915 Landing of French troops in Moudros (Lemnos island) during the Gallipoli Campaign

Dardanellen 1

A view of the Dardanelles from Gallipoli peninsula.

Chanakkale Turkey

A view of Çanakkale from the Dardanelles.


Ferry line across the Dardanelles in Çanakkale.

Havadan cnk

Aerial view of the city of Çanakkale.

See also


  1. ^ David van Hoogstraten and Matthaeus Brouërius van Nidek, Groot algemeen historisch, geografisch, genealogisch, en oordeelkundig woordenboek, Volume 5, Amsterdam/Utrecht/The Hague 1729, p. 25, s.v. 'Dardanellen Archived 24 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine'
  2. ^ George Crabb, Universal Historical Dictionary, Volume 1, London 1825, s.v. 'Dardanelles Archived 28 April 2018 at the Wayback Machine'
  3. ^ Nautical Chart at GeoHack-Dardanelles, Map Tech
  4. ^ Rozakēs, Chrēstos L. (1987). The Turkish Straits. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 1. ISBN 9024734649. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 November 2003. Retrieved 26 September 2003.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link); the play.
  6. ^ Green, Peter The Greco-Persian Wars (London 1996) 75.
  7. ^ Cabell, Phillips, The Truman presidency : the history of a triumphant succession (New York 1966), 102 - 103.
  8. ^ "Bosphorus Technical Consulting Corporation". www.botek.info. Archived from the original on 2013-11-06.
  9. ^ Gülnazi Yüce: Submarine Cable Projects (2-03) Archived 9 April 2018 at the Wayback Machine presented at First South East European Regional CIGRÉ Conference (SEERC), Portoroz, Slovenis, 7–8 June 2016, retrieved 8 April 2018. – PDF
  10. ^ Submarine Cable Map 2017 Archived 28 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine telegeography.com, retrieved 9 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Lord Byron swims the Hellespont - May 03, 1810 - HISTORY.com". www.history.com. THIS DAY IN HISTORY. Archived from the original on 7 March 2010.
  12. ^ Barr, Matt (29 September 2007). "The day I swam all the way to Asia". the Guardian. Archived from the original on 30 December 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Sweeney Todd feat. ... - No Place Like London Lyrics". LetsSingIt. Archived from the original on 5 August 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Bow Down to Washington — UW Libraries". www.lib.washington.edu. Archived from the original on 30 November 2016.

External links

Anglo-Turkish War (1807–09)

The Anglo-Ottoman War was a conflict that took place during the Napoleonic Wars between 1807 and 1809.

In the summer of 1806, during the War of the Third Coalition (of Britain, Russia, Prussia, Sweden), Napoleon's ambassador General Count Sebastiani managed to convince the Porte to cancel all special privileges granted to Russia in 1805 and to open the Ottoman straits (Dardanelles) exclusively to French warships. In return, Napoleon promised to help the Sultan suppress a rebellion in Serbia and to recover lost Ottoman territories. When the Russian army marched into Moldavia and Wallachia in 1806, the Ottomans declared war on Russia.

During the Dardanelles Operation in September 1806, Britain pressured Sultan Selim III to expel Sebastiani, declare war on France, cede the Danubian Principalities to Russia, and surrender the Ottoman fleet, together with the forts on the Dardanelles, to the Royal Navy. After Selim's rejection of the ultimatum, a British squadron, commanded by Vice-admiral Sir John Thomas Duckworth, entered the Dardanelles on 19 February 1807 and destroyed an Ottoman naval force in the Sea of Marmara, and anchored opposite Istanbul. With French assistance the Ottomans erected powerful batteries and strengthened their fortifications. The British warships were cannonaded suffering the loss of two ships. Duckworth made the decision to withdraw to the Mediterranean on 3 March 1807.

On 16 March 1807, 5000 British troops embarked on the Alexandria expedition of 1807 and occupied Alexandria in August, although Khedive Muhammad Ali resisted heavily and a lack of supplies forced them to withdraw. Ottoman Empire had little military support from France in the war with Russia; Napoleon failed to secure Russia's compliance with the armistice agreement of 1807.

On 5 January 1809, the Ottoman government concluded the Treaty of the Dardanelles with Britain, which was now at war with both France and Russia.

Battle of Elli

The Battle of Elli (Greek: Ναυμαχία της Έλλης, Turkish: İmroz Deniz Muharebesi) or the Battle of the Dardanelles took place near the mouth of the Dardanelles on 16 December [O.S. 3 December] 1912 as part of the First Balkan War between the fleets of the Kingdom of Greece and the Ottoman Empire. It was the largest sea battle of the Balkan Wars.

Battle of the Dardanelles (1654)

This battle, which took place on 16 May 1654, was the first of a series of tough battles just inside the mouth of the Dardanelles Strait, as Venice and sometimes the other Christian forces attempted to hold the Turks back from their invasion of Crete by attacking them early.

Venetian commander Giuseppe Delfino reached the mouth of the Dardanelles on 19 April after a voyage in which he lost 3 ships. His fleet of 16 sailing ships, 2 galleasses and 8 galleys was not large enough or adequately prepared. Murad, the Kapudan Pasha (admiral) left Istanbul with 30 sailing ships, 6 galleasses (known in Turkey as mahons), and 40 galleys on 10 May and reached the Narrows, just above the mouth of the Dardanelles, on 15 May. His fleet was formed into 3 lines: sailing ships first, then galleasses, then galleys. The next day Delfino attacked. His plan was for his ships to remain at anchor until the Turks passed and then to attack the rear. However most Venetian ships sailed too soon, leaving Delfinos ship, San Giorgio grande, that of his second, Daniele Morosini, Aquila d'Oro, along with Orsola Bonaventura (Sebastiano Molino), Margarita, 2 galleasses and 2 galleys without support. Aquila d'Oro was attacked first, by a large Ottoman ship which she managed to capture, before 5 Turkish vessels came to its rescue. The Ottoman vessel ended up being burnt, leading to the burning of Aquila d'Oro too. Morosini was taken prisoner as he tried to flee in a boat. The action became more general, and when it was over the Venetians had lost 2 ships and 1 galley burnt, 1 galley captured, as well as the leader of the galleys, Francesco Morosini, killed, and Daniele Morosini captured. Total casualties were 30 killed and about 40 wounded, although one account had higher figures. Ottoman losses were 2 sailing ships burnt, and perhaps 1 galleass and 1 galley lost.

Battle of the Dardanelles (1655)

This battle took place on 21 June 1655 inside the mouth of the Dardanelles Strait. It was a clear victory for Venice over the Ottoman Empire during the Cretan War.

The Venetians, under Lazzaro Mocenigo, continued their strategy of blockading the Dardanelles, to prevent the Ottomans from resupplying their forces in the Aegean Sea. The orders were the same as for the previous year - remain at anchor until the Ottoman fleet passed, then attack the rear - and this time the plan worked. The previous Kapudan Pasha (Grand Admiral), Kara Murat, had been promoted to Grand Vizier and his replacement, Kara Mustapha, had 36 sailing ships, 8 galleasses and 60 galleys, as well as perhaps several galleys from outside the Dardanelles. Once again, the Ottomans were arranged in 3 lines abreast: Sailing ships, then galleasses, then galleys. The Venetians had 26 sailing ships, 4 galleasses and 6 galleys.

As the Ottomans advanced, one galleass was sunk and one galley burnt and the rowing vessels retreated, after which the Venetians attacked the Ottoman sailing ships, resulting in 9 being burnt and 2 wrecked. The only Venetian loss was David Golia, which was burnt. Venetian casualties exclusive of the sunken ship were 126 killed and 180 wounded. 358 Ottomans were taken prisoner.

Battle of the Dardanelles (1656)

The Third Battle of the Dardanelles in the Sixth Ottoman-Venetian War took place on 26 and 27 June 1656 inside the Dardanelles Strait. The battle was a clear victory for Venice and the Knights Hospitaller over the Ottoman Empire, although their commander, Lorenzo Marcello, was killed on the first day.

Battle of the Dardanelles (1657)

The Fourth Battle of the Dardanelles in the Fifth Ottoman-Venetian War took place between 17 and 19 July 1657 outside the mouth of the Dardanelles Strait. The Ottomans succeeded in breaking the Venetian blockade over the Straits.


The Bosporus () or Bosphorus ( or ; Ancient Greek: Βόσπορος Bosporos [bós.po.ros]; also known as The Strait of Istanbul; Turkish: İstanbul Boğazı) is a narrow, natural strait and an internationally significant waterway located in northwestern Turkey. It forms part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia, and separates Asian Turkey from European Turkey. The world's narrowest strait used for international navigation, the Bosporus connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, and, by extension via the Dardanelles, the Aegean and Mediterranean seas.

Most of the shores of the strait are heavily settled, straddled by the city of Istanbul's metropolitan population of 17 million inhabitants extending inland from both coasts.

Together with the Dardanelles, the Bosporus forms the Turkish Straits.

Dardanelles Fortified Area Command

The Dardanelles Fortified Area Command or Mediterranean Strait Fortified Area Command or Çanakkale Fortified Area Command (Turkish: Bahr-i Sefîd Boğazı Mevki(i) Müstahkem Komutanlığı or Akdeniz Boğazı Müstahkem Mevki(i) Komutanlığı or Çanakkale Boğazı Müstahkem Mevki(i) Komutanlığı or Çanakkale Müstahkem Mevki(i) Komutanlığı) was the Ottoman fortified area command that was formed to defend against attacks on the Dardanelles from the Aegean Sea.

Dardanelles Gun

The Dardanelles Gun or Great Turkish Bombard (Turkish: Şahi topu or simply Şahi) is a 15th-century siege cannon, specifically a super-sized bombard, which saw action in the 1807 Dardanelles Operation. It was designed and built in 1464 by Turkish military engineer Munir Ali.

Dardanelles Operation (1807)

The Dardanelles Operation was the Royal Navy's unsuccessful attempt to impose British demands on the Ottoman Empire as part of the Anglo-Turkish War (1807-1809).

In 1806, the French envoy Sebastiani had been dispatched to Constantinople with orders to bring about Turkey's re-entry into the Napoleonic Wars. Sultan Selim III set about preparations for war with Russia after positively receiving Sebastiani. The Russian emperor, Alexander I, was alarmed by these developments as he had already deployed a significant force to Poland and East Prussia to fight the advancing French forces under Emperor Napoleon I. Alexander requested British assistance in keeping Turkey out of the war.

The British army was far too small and inadequate to impose the will of the Coalition on the Ottomans, so it naturally fell to the powerful Royal Navy to meet Russia's requests. The ships immediately available for the task were HMS Canopus, HMS Standard, HMS Thunderer, HMS Glatton, and the two bomb ships HMS Lucifer and HMS Meteor, under the command of Vice-Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, commander-in-chief of the British Mediterranean Fleet, sailed for the Dardanelles and made preparations for the upcoming assault.

In the meantime, the British ambassador to Constantinople, Arbuthnot, demanded that the Ottoman government evict Sebastiani, and added that should the Ottomans resist the ultimatum, the Mediterranean fleet would attack.

The actual force that had been chosen by Collingwood to carry out the operation was small—only eight ships-of-the-line and four frigates. In addition, four Russian ships-of-the-line under Admiral Dmitry Senyavin were sent to support the British, but did not join Duckworth until after the exit from Dardanelles was made. Admiral Duckworth, who commanded the British, was under orders to bombard Constantinople and seize the Turkish battle fleet.

Dardanelles campaign medal

The Dardanelles campaign medal (French: "Médaille commémorative des Dardanelles") was a French military medal bestowed for participation in the Battle of the Dardanelles, also known as the Gallipoli campaign against the Central Powers by the Corps expéditionnaire d'Orient supported by the Royal Navy and French Navy between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916.


The Gallipoli peninsula (; Turkish: Gelibolu Yarımadası; Greek: Χερσόνησος της Καλλίπολης, Chersónisos tis Kallípolis) is located in the southern part of East Thrace, the European part of Turkey, with the Aegean Sea to the west and the Dardanelles strait to the east.

Gallipoli is the Italian form of the Greek name "Καλλίπολις" (Kallípolis), meaning "Beautiful City", the original name of the modern town of Gelibolu. In antiquity, the peninsula was known as the Thracian Chersonese (Greek: Θρακική Χερσόνησος, Thrakiké Chersónesos; Latin: Chersonesus Thracica).

The peninsula runs in a south-westerly direction into the Aegean Sea, between the Dardanelles (formerly known as the Hellespont), and the Gulf of Saros (formerly the bay of Melas). In antiquity, it was protected by the Long Wall, a defensive structure built across the narrowest part of the peninsula near the ancient city of Agora. The isthmus traversed by the wall was only 36 stadia in breadth (about 6.5 km), but the length of the peninsula from this wall to its southern extremity, Cape Mastusia, was 420 stadia (about 77.5 km).

Gallipoli Campaign

The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign, the Battle of Gallipoli or the Battle of Çanakkale (Turkish: Çanakkale Savaşı), was a campaign of the First World War that took place on the Gallipoli peninsula (Gelibolu in modern Turkey). The Entente powers, Britain and France, sought to weaken the Ottoman Empire by taking control of the straits that provided a supply route to Russia, the third member of the Entente. The invaders launched a naval attack followed by an amphibious landing on the peninsula, to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople. The naval attack was repelled and after eight months' fighting, with many casualties on both sides, the land campaign was abandoned and the invasion force was withdrawn. It was a costly and humiliating defeat for the Allies and for the sponsors, especially Winston Churchill.

The campaign was the only big Ottoman victory of the war. In Turkey, it is regarded as a defining moment in the history of the state, a final surge in the defence of the motherland as the Ottoman Empire crumbled. Arabs formed a substantial force in the Gallipoli Peninsula being part of the 72nd and 77th regiments. According to several sources, Arabs made up two thirds of the 19th division under Colonel Mustafa Kemal. The struggle formed the basis for the Turkish War of Independence and the declaration of the Republic of Turkey eight years later, with Mustafa Kemal (Kemal Atatürk) who rose to prominence as a commander at Gallipoli, as President. The campaign is often considered to be the beginning of Australian and New Zealand national consciousness; 25 April, the anniversary of the landings, is known as "ANZAC Day", the most significant commemoration of military casualties and veterans in the two countries, surpassing Remembrance Day (Armistice Day).

HMS Irresistible (1898)

HMS Irresistible—the fourth British Royal Navy ship of the name—was a Formidable-class pre-dreadnought battleship. The Formidable-class ships were developments of earlier British battleships, featuring the same battery of four 12-inch (305 mm) guns—albeit more powerful 40-calibre versions—and top speed of 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph) of the preceding Canopus class, while adopting heavier armour protection. The ship was laid down in April 1898, was launched in December that year, and was completed in October 1901. Commissioned in 1902, she initially served with the Mediterranean Fleet until April 1908, when she was transferred to the Channel Fleet. Now outclassed with the emergence of the dreadnought class of ships, she entered service with the Home Fleet in 1911 following a refit. In 1912, she was assigned to the 5th Battle Squadron.

Following the outbreak of World War I, Irresistible, along with the squadron, was assigned to the Channel Fleet. After operations with the Dover Patrol, during which she bombarded German forces in northern France, she was assigned to the Dardanelles Campaign in February 1915. She took part in numerous unsuccessful attacks on the Ottoman forts guarding the Dardanelles in February and March. These operations included several raids by landing parties to destroy Ottoman coastal artillery batteries. On 18 March 1915, she struck a naval mine that caused extensive flooding and disabled her engines. Without power, she began to drift into the range of Turkish guns, which laid down a withering fire. Attempts to tow her failed, so her surviving crew was evacuated and Irresistible was abandoned and eventually sank. Her crew suffered around 150 killed in the sinking.

HMS Majestic (1895)

HMS Majestic was a Majestic-class pre-dreadnought battleship of the Royal Navy. Commissioned in 1895, she was the largest predreadnought launched at the time. She served with the Channel Fleet until 1904, following which she was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet. In 1907, she was part of the Home Fleet, firstly assigned to the Nore Division and then with the Devonport Division. From 1912, she was part of the 7th Battle Squadron.

When World War I broke out Majestic, together with the rest of the squadron, was attached to the Channel Fleet during the early stages of the war before being detached for escort duties with Canadian troop convoys. She then had spells as a guard ship at the Nore and the Humber. In early 1915, she was dispatched to the Mediterranean for service in the Dardanelles Campaign. She participated in bombardments of Turkish forts and supported the Allied landings at Gallipoli. On 27 May 1915, she was torpedoed by a U-boat at Cape Helles, sinking with the loss of 49 men.

Naval operations in the Dardanelles Campaign

The Naval Operations in the Dardanelles Campaign (17 February 1915 – 9 January 1916) took place against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. Ships of the Royal Navy, French Marine nationale, Imperial Russian Navy (Российский императорский флот) and the Royal Australian Navy, attempted to force the defences of the Dardanelles Straits. The straits are a narrow waterway connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Black Sea, via the Aegean, Sea of Marmara and the Bosphorus. The Dardanelles Campaign began as a naval operation but the success of the Ottoman defence led to the Gallipoli Campaign, an attempt to occupy the Gallipoli peninsula with land forces supported by the navies, to open the sea route to Constantinople. The Allies also tried to pass submarines through the Dardanelles to attack Ottoman shipping in the Sea of Marmara.

Treaty of the Dardanelles

The Treaty of the Dardanelles (also known as the Dardanelles Treaty of Peace, Commerce, and Secret Alliance, the Treaty of Çanak, the Treaty of Chanak or Turkish: Kale-i Sultaniye Antlaşması) was concluded between the Ottoman Empire and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 5 January 1809 at Çanak, Ottoman Empire. The treaty ended the Anglo-Turkish War. The Porte restored extensive British commercial and legal privileges in the empire. The United Kingdom promised to protect the integrity of the Ottoman Empire against the French threat, both with its own fleet and through weapons supplies to Constantinople. The treaty affirmed the principle that no warships of any power should enter the straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus. The treaty anticipated the London Straits Convention of 1841, by which the other major powers committed themselves to this same principle.

Turkish Straits

The Turkish Straits (Turkish: Türk Boğazları) are a series of internationally significant waterways in northwestern Turkey that connect the Aegean and Mediterranean seas to the Black Sea. They consist of the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, and the Bosphorus, all part of the sovereign sea territory of Turkey and subject to the regime of internal waters.

Located in the western part of the landmass of Eurasia, the Turkish Straits are conventionally considered the boundary between the continents of Europe and Asia, as well as the dividing line between European Turkey and Asian Turkey. Owing to their strategic importance in international commerce, politics, and warfare, the Turkish Straits have played a significant role in European and world history, and have since been governed in accordance with the 1936 Montreux Convention.

Çanakkale Province

Çanakkale Province (Turkish: Çanakkale ili) is a province of Turkey, located in the northwestern part of the country. It takes its name from the city of Çanakkale.

Like Istanbul, Çanakkale province has a European (Thrace) and an Asian (Anatolia) part. The European part is formed by the Gallipoli (Gelibolu) peninsula, while the Asian part is largely coterminous with the historic region of Troad in Anatolia. They are separated by the Dardanelles strait, connecting the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean Sea.

The archaeological site of Troy is found in Çanakkale province.

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