Wars and tourism. An impression from Çanakkale.

Merhaba Friends.

Last weekend I went on a trip to Çanakkale a small coastal town on the edge of Dardanelles. with Istanbul, is the only city in the world between two continents. I went with Andrea to visit two other EVS volunteers we met at our meetings in Izmir and Istanbul.

I did not know much about the city. It was only near the archeological site of Troy and the famous horse of the film Troy was there too.

Nothing more a small walk along the promenade made me see the castles,, monuments and exhibitions on the 1st World War… Çanakkale and the peninsula of Gallipoli were the center of one of the most bloody battles of the Great War. In it, French, Birtanians, New Zealanders, Australians, Germans and Ottomans left their lives for almost a year (1915-1916).

It is curious that in this region has always been protagonist by its wars. The first, the Trojan War. A war fabled by the Greek tradition and attributed to a certain Homer. A war that historically does not hold, but serves as a metaphor for all wars. Troy is the symbol of the War in the West. Blood, destruction, cunning… Expressions like Achilles heel or Trojan horse continue in our everyday languages. But also the cries of Hecuba to see destroyed the city and all her dead children.

The war of Troy is very important within the western culture. In the image Achilles against Hector in a Greek pottery

Something similar would be the sincere and real cries of the mothers of Çanakkale who saw a little more than 100 years ago how they destroyed their houses and killed their children.

To this day an exhibition shows us the houses destroyed by the bombs. Showcases show us the weapons, clothes and objects found in archaeological excavations. Also the cemeteries and monuments…

Scene of a movie about the battle of gallipoli filmed in 2015

But we also see the tourism business. Bunker transformed into souvenir shops. Photos with soldiers, key rings that recreate the weapons of battle … The First World War has become a fictional story as well as a Trojan war.

While I weighed this, I was having coffee after buying a key ring over the battle. On the television was reported on the Syrian war. A woman cried to her children while the city was destroyed.

See you next week.

Alejandro Pardo.