Lynn & David travelling from Turkmenistan through the Caucasus to Turkey travel blog

Brighton Beach, Gallipoli, Turkey

David at Anzac Cove, Turkey

Lynn and David st Anzac Cove, Turkey

Lynn at Anzac Cove, Turkey

"The Sphinx" and Anzac Cove memorial, Turkey

Panorama Dardanelles, Turkey

Suvla Bay, Turkey

Lone Pine Cemetery, Turkey

Dardanelles Fortress, Eceabat, Turkey

Friday 27th May 2016

Istanbul to Canakkale, Turkey

Today we were up early (6:00am) as we were being picked up at 6:30am to take us on the long drive to the Gallipoli battlefields southwest of Istanbul. We arrived in Eceabat on the Europe side of the Dardanelles, a narrow strip of water that separates European Turkey from Asian Turkey and had lunch there. European Turkey makes up only 3% of the country. We were then driven up towards the Gallipoli battlefields and the ANZAC landing places about 20km away. It was a very interesting place to visit as we had heard so much about it. First we were shown the place where the landings (in April 1915) were originally planned to take place, Brighton Beach, where the terrain was much flatter. We then went to Anzac Cove where the Australians and New Zealanders actually landed due to a navigation error. The difficulty of getting off the beach in the face of the underestimated Turkish forces resulted in a high death toll and continued casualties for the length of the Dardanelles campaign from February 1915 to January 1916. We saw the cemeteries at North Beach where more landings took place, Lone Pine and also the Turkish cemetery and Chunuk Bair, where there is a memorial to the NZ forces. To see it now is quite sad as the aim of the campaign was to overpower the Turks, first with a naval assault and then with a sea based assault from the Aegean Sea onto the Turkish beaches in order to get access to the shipping lanes of the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus for access to the Black Sea ports so that Russia could be supported in WW1 as they were an ally. When the Anzac forces pulled out, the Turks felt they had won so they didn’t pursue them even though their German allies wanted them to. The cemeteries there are all very modest and understated and are impeccably looked after. Finally we saw the trenches that were used by both sides, sometimes as little as 8 metres apart. After we left there we drove back to Eceabat and then over on the car ferry to Canakkale, a large town on the Asian side of the Dardanelles, checked in to the hotel and had a relatively early night. Mostly fine day either a few light showers and one heavy shower, around 22-24C.

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