General Information

Gallipoli is a peninsula located at the opening of the Marmara Sea to the Aegean, lying right along the Dardanelles. In antiquity, the peninsula was known as Thracian Chersonese, and was only a few km’s North of Troy, only separated by the Dardanelle Strait. The peninsula once hosted a Greek city named Kallipolis, which means “beautiful city” in classical Greek, which was abandoned almost overnight after the devastating 1354 earthquake. It has always been home to human settlements this way or another afterwards due to its strategic location at the opening end of the North to the Aegean sea.

Culture and History

Gallipoli is perhaps best known for both its proximity to the ancient site of Troy, but also for the unsuccessful “Gallipoli Campaign” of the British Empire in 1915, as part of an ongoing chain of military campaigns against the Ottoman Empire and its Prussian and Austrian allies during World War I. The Allied landing and subsequent campaign on the peninsula during WWI is also known as the Battle of Canakkale. The campaign was a disaster for the Allied forces, and very devastating for the Turks, but also launched the carreer of Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk), who was a little-known, low-ranking army officer at the time. He had become a national hero after repelling the Allied forces.

TOverall, the Gallipoli campaign resulted in Allied deaths numbering 21,000 British, 9,700 French, 8,700 Australians, 2,700 New Zealanders, 1,370 Indians and 50 Newfoundlandians. On the Turkish side, casualties are estimated to have exceeded 80,000. To this day, due to the high percentage of casualties, especially from the New Zealanders who had lost at least quarter of those who had landed on the peninsula, and the tens of thousands left wounded from the campaign on both sides, the event is remembered as the Anzac Day in Australia, New Zealand and Turkey.

The memorial at the famous Anzac Cove, with the touching words of Ataturk inscribed, is a sight to see.