Gallipoli

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Satellite image of the Gallipoli peninsula and surrounding area Gallipoli peninsula from space.png
Satellite image of the Gallipoli peninsula and surrounding area
Anzac Cove in Gallipoli View of Anzac Cove - Gallipoli Peninsula - Dardanelles - Turkey - 01 (5734713946).jpg
Anzac Cove in Gallipoli

The Gallipoli peninsula ( /ɡəˈlɪpəli,ɡæ-/ ; [1] Turkish : Gelibolu Yarımadası; Ancient Greek : Χερσόνησος της Καλλίπολης, Chersónisos tis Kallípolis) is located in the southern part of East Thrace, the European part of Turkey, with the Aegean Sea to the west and the Dardanelles strait to the east.

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Gallipoli is the Italian form of the Greek name Καλλίπολις (Kallípolis), meaning 'beautiful city', [2] the original name of the modern town of Gelibolu. In antiquity, the peninsula was known as the Thracian Chersonese (Ancient Greek : Θρακικὴ Χερσόνησος, Thrakiké Chersónesos; Latin : Chersonesus Thracica).

The peninsula runs in a south-westerly direction into the Aegean Sea, between the Dardanelles (formerly known as the Hellespont), and the Gulf of Saros (formerly the bay of Melas). In antiquity, it was protected by the Long Wall, [3] [4] [5] [6] a defensive structure built across the narrowest part of the peninsula near the ancient city of Agora. The isthmus traversed by the wall was only 36 stadia in breadth [7] or about 6.5 km (4.0 mi), but the length of the peninsula from this wall to its southern extremity, Cape Mastusia, was 420 stadia [7] or about 77.5 km (48.2 mi).

History

Antiquity and Middle Ages

Map of Thracian Chersonesus. Thracian chersonese.png
Map of Thracian Chersonesus.

In ancient times, the Gallipoli Peninsula was known as the Thracian Chersonesus (from Greek χερσόνησος, 'peninsula' [2] ) to the Greeks and later the Romans. It was the location of several prominent towns, including Cardia, Pactya, Callipolis (Gallipoli), Alopeconnesus (Ἀλωπεκόννησος), [8] Sestos, Madytos, and Elaeus. The peninsula was renowned for its wheat. It also benefited from its strategic importance on the main route between Europe and Asia, as well as from its control of the shipping route from Crimea. The city of Sestos was the main crossing-point on the Hellespont.

According to Herodotus, the Thracian tribe of Dolonci (Δόλογκοι) (or 'barbarians' according to Cornelius Nepos) held possession of Chersonesus before the Greek colonization. Then, settlers from Ancient Greece, mainly of Ionian and Aeolian stock, founded about 12 cities on the peninsula in the 7th century BC. [9] The Athenian statesman Miltiades the Elder founded a major Athenian colony there around 560 BC. He took authority over the entire peninsula, augmenting its defences against incursions from the mainland. It eventually passed to his nephew, the more famous Miltiades the Younger, about 524 BC. The peninsula was abandoned to the Persians in 493 BC after the beginning of the Greco-Persian Wars (499–478 BC).

The Persians were eventually expelled, after which the peninsula was for a time ruled by Athens, which enrolled it into the Delian League in 478 BC. The Athenians established a number of cleruchies on the Thracian Chersonese and sent an additional 1,000 settlers around 448 BC. Sparta gained control after the decisive battle of Aegospotami in 404 BC, but the peninsula subsequently reverted to the Athenians. During the 4th century BC, the Thracian Chersonese became the focus of a bitter territorial dispute between Athens and Macedon, whose king Philip II sought possession. It was eventually ceded to Philip in 338 BC.

After the death of Philip's son Alexander the Great in 323 BC, the Thracian Chersonese became the object of contention among Alexander's successors. Lysimachus established his capital Lysimachia here. In 278 BC, Celtic tribes from Galatia in Asia Minor settled in the area. In 196 BC, the Seleucid king Antiochus III seized the peninsula. This alarmed the Greeks and prompted them to seek the aid of the Romans, who conquered the Thracian Chersonese, which they gave to their ally Eumenes II of Pergamon in 188 BC. At the extinction of the Attalid dynasty in 133 BC it passed again to the Romans, who from 129 BC administered it in the Roman province of Asia. It was subsequently made a state-owned territory (ager publicus) and during the reign of the emperor Augustus it was imperial property.

Map of the peninsula and its surroundings Gallipolimap2.png
Map of the peninsula and its surroundings

The Thracian Chersonese was part of the Eastern Roman Empire from its foundation in 330 AD. In 443 AD, Attila the Hun invaded the Gallipoli Peninsula during one of the last stages of his grand campaign that year. He captured both Callipolis and Sestus. [10] Aside from a brief period from 1204 to 1235, when it was controlled by the Republic of Venice, the Byzantine Empire ruled the territory until 1356. During the night between 1 and 2 March 1354, a strong earthquake destroyed the city of Gallipoli and its city walls, weakening its defenses.

Ottoman era

Ottoman conquest

Within a month after the devastating 1354 earthquake the Ottomans besieged and captured the town of Gallipoli, making it the first Ottoman stronghold in Europe and the staging area for Ottoman expansion across the Balkans. [11] The Savoyard Crusade recaptured Gallipoli for Byzantium in 1366, but the beleaguered Byzantines were forced to hand it back in September 1376. The Greeks living there were allowed to continue their everyday activities. In the 19th century, Gallipoli (Ottoman Turkish : گلیبولو, Gelibolu) was a district ( kaymakamlik ) in the Vilayet of Adrianople, with about thirty thousand inhabitants: comprising Greeks, Turks, Armenians and Jews. [12]

Crimean War (1853–1856)

The port of Gallipoli, c. 1880 Port de Gallipoli.JPG
The port of Gallipoli, c.1880

Gallipoli became a major encampment for British and French forces in 1854 during the Crimean War, and the harbour was also a stopping-off point between the western Mediterranean and Istanbul (formerly Constantinople). [13] [14]

In March 1854 British and French engineers constructed an 11.5 km (7.1 mi) line of defence to protect the peninsula from a possible Russian attack and so secure control of the route to the Mediterranean Sea. [15] :414

First Balkan War (1912–1913)

During the First Balkan War, the 1913 Battle of Bulair and several minor skirmishes took place where the Ottoman army "destroyed, looted, and burned all the Greek villages near Gallipoli". [16] [17] [18] The Report of the International Commission on the Balkan Wars mention destruction and massacres in the area by the Ottoman army against Greek and Bulgarian population. [19]

The Ottoman Government, under the pretext that a village was within the firing line, ordered its evacuation within three hours. The residents abandoned everything they possessed, left their village and went to Gallipoli. Seven of the Greek villagers who stayed two minutes later than the three-hour limit allowed for the evacuation were shot by the soldiers. After the end of the Balkan War the exiles were allowed to return. But as the Government allowed only the Turks to rebuild their houses and furnish them, the exiled Greeks were compelled to remain in Gallipoli. [20]

World War I: Gallipoli Campaign (1914–1918)

Landing at Gallipoli in April 1915 Landing at Gallipoli (13901951593).jpg
Landing at Gallipoli in April 1915
The Sphinx overlooking Anzac Cove Gallipoli ANZAC Cove Sphinx 2.JPG
The Sphinx overlooking Anzac Cove

During World War I (1914-1918), French, British and allied forces (Australian, New Zealand, Newfoundland, Irish and Indian) fought the Gallipoli campaign (1915-1916) in and near the peninsula, seeking to secure a sea route to relieve their eastern ally, Russia. The Ottomans set up defensive fortifications along the peninsula and contained the invading forces.

In early 1915, attempting to seize a strategic advantage in World War I by capturing Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), the British authorised an attack on the peninsula by French, British and British Empire forces. The first Australian troops landed at ANZAC Cove early in the morning of 25 April 1915. After eight months of heavy fighting the last Allied soldiers withdrew by 9 January 1916.

The campaign, one of the greatest Ottoman victories during the war, is considered by historians as a major Allied failure. Turks regard it as a defining moment in their nation's history: a final surge in the defence of the motherland as the Ottoman Empire crumbled. The struggle formed the basis for the Turkish War of Independence [ citation needed ] and the founding of the Republic of Turkey[ citation needed ] eight years later under President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who first rose to prominence as a commander at Gallipoli.

The Ottoman Empire instituted the Gallipoli Star as a military decoration in 1915 and awarded it throughout the rest of World War I.

The campaign was the first major military action of Australia and New Zealand (or Anzacs) as independent dominions. The date of the landing, 25 April, is known as "Anzac Day". It remains the most significant commemoration of military casualties and "returned soldiers" in Australia and New Zealand.

On the Allied side one of the promoters of the expedition was Britain's First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, whose bullish optimism caused damage to his reputation that took years to repair.

Whilst the underlying strategic concept of the campaign was sound the military forces of the WW1 lacked the logistical, technological and tactical capabilities to undertake an operation of this scope against a determined, well equipped defender.

The all arms coordination and logistical capabilities required to successfully prosecute such a campaign would only be achieved three decades later, during the successful Allied amphibious invasions of Europe and the Pacific during WW2.

Prior to the Allied landings in April 1915, [21] the Ottoman Empire deported Greek residents from Gallipoli and surrounding region and from the islands in the sea of Marmara, to the interior where they were at the mercy of hostile Turks. [22] The Greeks had little time to pack and the Ottoman authorities permitted them to take only some bedding and the rest was handed over to the Government. [22] The Turks then plundered the houses and properties. [23] A testimony of a deportee described how the deportees were forced onto crowded steamers, standing-room only then on disembarking, men of military age were removed (for forced labour in the labour battalions of the Ottoman army.) The rest were "scattered… among the farms like ownerless cattle.[ citation needed ]

The Metropolitan of Gallipoli wrote on 17 July 1915 that the extermination of the Christian refugees was methodical. [20] He also mentions that "The Turks, like beasts of prey, immediately plundered all the Christians' property and carried it off. The inhabitants and refugees of my district are entirely without shelter, awaiting to be sent no one knows where ...". [20] Many Greeks died from hunger and there were frequent cases of rape among women and young girls, as well as their forced conversion to Islam. [20] In some cases, Muhacirs appeared in the villages even before the Greek inhabitants deported and stoned the houses and threatened the inhabitants that they would kill them if they did not leave. [24]

Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922)

Greek troops occupied Gallipoli on 4 August 1920 during the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–22, considered part of the Turkish War of Independence. After the Armistice of Mudros of 30 October 1918 it became a Greek prefecture centre as Kallipolis. However, Greece was forced to withdraw from Eastern Thrace after the Armistice of Mudanya of October 1922. Gallipoli was briefly handed over to British troops on 20 October 1922, but finally returned to Turkish rule on 26 November 1922.

In 1920, after the defeat of the Russian White army of General Pyotr Wrangel, a significant number of émigré soldiers and their families evacuated to Gallipoli from the Crimean Peninsula. From there, many went to European countries, such as Yugoslavia, where they found refuge.

There are now many cemeteries and war memorials on the Gallipoli peninsula.

Turkish Republic

Between 1923 and 1926 Gallipoli became the centre of Gelibolu Province, comprising the districts of Gelibolu, Eceabat, Keşan and Şarköy. After the dissolution of the province, it became a district centre in Çanakkale Province.

Notable people

Related Research Articles

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Gelibolu District in Marmara, Turkey

Gelibolu, also known as Gallipoli, is the name of a town and a district in Çanakkale Province of the Marmara Region, located in Eastern Thrace in the European part of Turkey on the southern shore of the peninsula named after it on the Dardanelles strait, 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) away from Lapseki on the other shore.

Çanakkale Province Province in northwestern Turkey

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Chersonese is a name that was given to several different places in ancient times. The word is Latin; it derives from the Greek term for "peninsula", χερσόνησοςchersonēsos, from χέρσοςchersos + νῆσοςnēsos (island).

Cardia or Kardia, anciently the chief town of the Thracian Chersonese, was situated at the head of the Gulf of Melas. It was originally a colony of the Milesians and Clazomenians; but subsequently, in the time of Miltiades, the place also received Athenian colonists, as proved by Miltiades tyranny. But this didn't make Cardia necessarily always pro-Athenian: when in 357 BC Athens took control of the Chersonese, the latter, under the rule of a Thracian prince, was the only city to remain neutral; but the decisive year was 352 BC when the city concluded a treaty of amity with king Philip II of Macedonia. A great crisis exploded when Diopeithes, an Athenian mercenary captain, had in 343 BC brought Attic settlers to the town; and since Cardia was unwilling to receive them, Philip immediately sent help to the town. The king proposed to settle the dispute between the two cities by arbitration, but Athens refused. Demosthenes, the famous Greek patriot and orator, spoke on this very matter to the Athenian Senate in 341 BC his "Oration On The State Of The Chersonesus":

Our present concernment is about the affairs of the Chersonesus, and Philip's expedition into Thrace...but most of our orators insist upon the actions and designs of Diopithes...which, if one moment neglected, the loss may be irreparable; here our attention is instantly demanded...shall Philip be left at full liberty to pursue all his other designs, provided he keeps from Attica; and shall not Diopithes be permitted to assist the Thracians? And if he does, shall we accuse him of involving us in a war?...none of you can be weak enough to imagine that Philip's desires are centered in those paltry villages of Thrace...and has no designs on the ports...arsenals...navies...silver mines, and all the other revenues of Athens; but that he will leave them for you to enjoy...? Impossible! No; these and all his expeditions are really intended to facilitate the conquest of Athens....let us shake off our extravagant and dangerous supineness; let us supply the necessary expenses; let us call on our allies...so that, as he hath his force constantly prepared to injure and enslave the Greeks, yours too may be ever ready to protect and assist them.

Miltiades the Elder was an Athenian politician from the Philaid family. He is most famous for travelling to the Thracian Chersonese where, at the behest of the local peoples, he ruled as a tyrant. During his reign, Miltiades' best-attested action was the construction of a defensive wall across the peninsula.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Elaeus</span> Ancient city of the Thracian Chersonnese

Elaeus, the “Olive City”, was an ancient Greek city located in Thrace, on the Thracian Chersonese. Elaeus was located at the southern end of the Hellespont near the southernmost point of the Thracian Chersonese in modern-day Turkey. According to the geographer Scymnus, Elaeus was founded by settlers from Ionian Teos, while the Pseudo-Scymnus writes that it was a colony of Athens and was founded by Phorbas

Callipolis is the Latinized form of Kallipolis (Καλλίπολις), which is Greek for "beautiful city", from κάλλος kallos (beauty) and πόλις polis (city). It was the name of several ancient cities, notably:

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Fall of Gallipoli Middle ages battle

The Fall of Gallipoli was the siege and capture of the Gallipoli fortress and peninsula, by the Ottoman Turks, in March 1354. After suffering a half-century of defeats at the hands of the Ottomans, the Byzantine Empire had lost nearly all of its possessions in Anatolia, except Philadelphia. Access to the Aegean and Marmara seas meant that the Ottomans could now implement the conquest of the southern Balkans, and could advance further north into the Serbian Empire and Hungary.

Pactya or Paktye was an ancient Greek city located in ancient Thrace, on the Thracian Chersonesus. It is cited in the Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax, in its recitation of the towns of the Thracian Chersonesus, along with Aegospotami, Cressa, Crithote and then Pactya, situated 36 stadia from Cardia. It is said that Miltiades founded it. Strabo places it on the Propontis between Crithote and Macron Teichos. According to Herodotus, Miltiades the Elder ordered a wall built between Cardia, which was on the coast of Gulf of Melas and Pactya, which was on the Propontis side, to prevent invasion of the Chersonesus by the Apsinthii. Alcibiades retired here the Athenians had for the second time deprived him of the command. It was a member of the Delian League. Pliny the Elder points out that both Cardia and Pactya later joined to form Lysimachia.

Crithote or Krithote was an ancient Greek city located in Thrace, located in the region of the Thracian Chersonesos. It was on the Hellespont north of Gallipolis, and was an Athenian colony founded by Miltiades. It is cited in the Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax among the cities of the Thracian Chersonesos: Aegospotami, Cressa, Crithote, and Pactya.

Çimpe Castle was a medieval fortification on the Gallipoli peninsula in modern Turkey. Its site is located along the Istanbul Caddesi between Bolayir and Gallipoli, commanding the narrowest point on the peninsula.

The Philaidae or Philaids were a powerful noble family of ancient Athens. They were conservative land owning aristocrats and many of them were very wealthy. The Philaidae produced two of the most famous generals in Athenian history: Miltiades the Younger and Cimon.

Sanjak of Gelibolu Second-level Ottoman province

The Sanjak of Gelibolu or Gallipoli was a second-level Ottoman province encompassing the Gallipoli Peninsula and a portion of southern Thrace. Gelibolu was the first Ottoman province in Europe, and for over a century the main base of the Ottoman Navy. Thereafter, and until the 18th century, it served as the seat of the Kapudan Pasha and capital of the Eyalet of the Archipelago.

Cimon Coalemos, was a renowned ancient Olympic chariot-racer of the 6th century BC.

References

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  12. PD-icon.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Callipolis". Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.
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  25. "Ana Sayfa" (PDF).

Coordinates: 40°21′N26°28′E / 40.350°N 26.467°E / 40.350; 26.467