Çanakkale, the pot fortress

Hi everyone

Today we can talk about one city we visit last weekend me and my flatmate Alejandro.

Çanakkale is a city and seaport in Turkey, in Çanakkale Province, on the southern (Asian), the city is the nearest major town to the site of ancient Troy. The “wooden horse” from the 2004 movie Troy is exhibited on the seafront.

Çanakkale is the name for a site earlier known as Kale-I-Sultaniye, which was adopted as the official term for the town in 1890, though current a century earlier. Çanakkale was an Ottoman fortress called Kale-i Sultaniye.

Çanakkale itself was built as a fortress in 1462 by Mehmed 11 Fatih, sited on a bay at the narrowest point of the strait, it, together with another nearby fort, Kilid Bahr, provided an excellent position for controlling traffic through the Dardanelles. The two forts were quickly called in the travel literature “The Castles”, and a town developed to the north-east, settled by Armenian refugees and Spanish Jews.

From the Renaissance period onwards, after their expulsion from Spain, Jewish refugees settled in Çanakkale and formed a sizeable community which thrived by supplying Mediterranean shipping in the region with provisions and acting as consular agents for many European nations. Down to the late 19th century they retained Spanish as a mother-tongue.

In 1915, during the First World War, British Empire and France attempted to secure the waterway through the Straits and ultimately capture Constantinople. Known as The Gallipoli Campaign, or the Dardanelles Campaign, in Turkey it is referred to as the Battle of Çanakkale (Turkish: Çanakkale Savaşı), during March 1915 when the Royal Navy failed to force the Dardanelles and suffered severe losses.

An active port city, it was a stopping point for vessels traveling through the strait, as it had been in the ancient past. It was described as lacking quality accommodations and resources for those passing through by the British who visited the region. Exported goods from the city included wine, hides, pottery, ceramic tiles and grain.

 

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