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Kilitbahir Fortress

Kilitbahir Fortress

Directly across the Narrows of the Dardanelles, Çannakale Boğazi in Turkish, lies the magnificent fortress of Kilitbahir, the Lock of the Sea. Like Çimenlik Castle at Çanakkale, Kilitbahir was built by Sultan Mehmet II, the Conqueror, in 1452. The two fortresses guarded the Narrows from any fleet coming from Europe to assist Constantinople (Istanbul) then under siege by Mehmet.


Statue of Turkish gunner Corporal Seyit Memorial, Kilitbahir, Gallipoli ... Enlarge photo
On the road south of Kilitbahir are a number of old earthen gun ramparts and concrete ammunition bunkers such as the Rumeli Hamidye Rampart and the large and impressive Namazgah Rampart. They were built in the 1890s and formed in 1915 part of the defence system of forts, ramparts and mines set up to prevent foreign naval passage of the straits. The great heavy cannon which were sited here are long gone but the gun positions are still visible and one can imagine, on 18 March 1915, the shells being conveyed up from the ammunition bunkers to keep the guns firing during the Allied naval attack.