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Canakkale Dardanelles

The Gallipoli Campaign also known as the Dardanelles Campaign was a First World War campaign that took place on the Gallipoli Peninsula in the Ottoman Empire between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916.

The Peninsula forms the northern bank of the Dardanelles, astrait that provides a sea route to what was then the Russian Empire, one of the Allied powers during the war. Intending to secure it, Russia’s allies Britain and France launched a naval attack followed by an amphibious landing on the Peninsula with the eventual aim of capturing the Ottoman capital of İstanbul. The naval attack was repelled and, after eight months fighting, with many casualties on both sides, the land campaign also failed and the invasion force was withdrawn to Egypt.

Gallipoli Peninsula National Historical Park established in 1973 and included in the UN List of Natioanl Parks and Protected Areas, covers 33.000 hectares (330 km2) at the southern end of the Gallipoli Peninsula on the European side of the Dardanelles. The Peninsula, a thin (5 km wide at its narrowest) and 80 km long finger of land, juts into the northwest Aegean Sea to form the southeastern extremity of the European continent. It is surrounded on the northwest by the Golf of Saros, one of the least polluted corners of the Aegean Sea, and the east by the Dardanelles, a 70 km natural channel connecting the Aegean Sea and Sea of Marmara.

The Gallipoli Peninsula, with its unique geographic setting enriched by a beautiful coast line, ondulating terrain  and  diverse  scenery,  reveals  interaction  and  continuity  between  different  cultural  zones  and displays non-interrupted settlement from the Neolithic Age on. The dramatic history of the area suggests the “bridge and barrier” predicament of the Peninsula. A bridge-head and a meeting place for different cultures over the centuries, the Peninsula also barred or deterred those in pursuit of territorial expansion. Controlling  the  Dardanelles,  an  inevitable  channel  connecting  major  inner-seas,  it  witnessed  dense maritime trade flows and took its share. By the same token, it always remained a major concern of military strategy and a site of wars across the ages.

Included in the Park are the sites of famous First World War Dardanelles naval and Gallipoli Peninsula land battles. The Park holds an extensive range of sunken ships, guns, trenches, forts, bastions and a myriad of other war related artefacts together with Turkish, Australian, New Zealand, English and French war graves and memorials.

The battlefields, war graves, monuments, and war related artefacts are registered as “historical sites and objects”. They should be conserved and their integrity must be retained.