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On the North West coast of Turkey, sits the Dardanelles straits and within that is the famous town of Canakkale. It belongs to both Asia and Europe but that is not the reason for its popularity. Most people visit because of two connections; it is the closest town to the ancient and historical site of Troy. It is also sadly, where the battle of Gallipoli took place and over 50,000 men lost their lives.

The ancient site of Troy

During the Trojan War, Greeks used a large, man-made wooden horse to enter the legendary city of Troy. Inside sat elite fighters who waited until night before creeping out and opening the gates to let the rest of their army in.

Some historians have suspected that the story is fabricated and the wooden horse was simply a large wooden ram, however they all agree that the city was located near Canakkale. Today, a large replica horse stands in its place but the important attraction is the nearby ruins of Troy.

Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site since 1998, excavations started in 1865. The ruins revealed a number of different cities had resided there and it took a lot of hard work and research before archaeologists were convinced they have found Troy.

The Battle of Gallipoli

At the time of World War One, Canakkale was under Ottoman rule, however they were on the losing side of the war. Their empire was due to be carved up and divided among the winning forces. A few select men managed to rise everyone up against this invasion and the Turkish war of independence started.

The battle of Gallipoli took place when the French and British attempted to gain control of the Dardanelles strait, a strategic and important point. They however made one small error that cost them the battle; they landed on the wrong beach. Thousands of men died in the battle that lasted for many months under horrific conditions.

Every year, on the morning of April the 25th, dawn services start to commemorate Anzac day. New Zealanders and Australians travel to Turkey to honour the memories of the fallen and their ancestors.

Further Reading

See our wide range of Turkey tours that include visits to Troy and Gallipoli


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