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Gallipoli Vs Çanakkale

If you have been following Russell Crowe’s recent visits to Istanbul and Edirne in the Turkish press, you will have seen references to the Çanakkale Savaşı. This is the Turkish name for the Gallipoli Campaign. It is named for Çanakkale, the city (a town in 1915) at the narrowest point of the Dardanelles. Kale means castle and there is a fortress (Kale-i Sultaniye) there. On the opposite side of the Dardanelles is a corresponding castle called Kilitbahir (means ‘lock of the sea’ – great name!) and together they have protected the entrance to the Dardanelles for centuries.


The view from Çanakkale to Kilitbahir (sourced from http://en.wikipedia.org)

In Australasia we refer to the conflict as the Gallipoli Campaign – an Allied name. It comes from the name of the town on the western peninsula of the Dardanelles, near where the Allied forces landed. The name has its roots in ancient Greek: Kalli-polis means beautiful town. The Turks call it Gelibolu.

For more information on the names, Chris Mackie from the University of Melbourne has written this more detailed article.

For Turkish news reports on The Water Diviner and Russell Crowe click here, here and here. And a couple translated into English here and here.