1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Dardanelles (town)

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DARDANELLES (Turk. Sultanieh Kalehsi, or Chanak Kalehsi), the chief town and seat of government of the lesser Turkish province of Bigha, Asia Minor. It is situated at the mouth of the Rhodius, and at the narrowest part of the strait of the Dardanelles, where its span is but a mile across. Its recent growth has been rapid, and it possesses a lyceum, a military hospital, a public garden, a theatre, quays and water-works. Exclusive of the garrison, the population is estimated at 13,000, of whom one-half are Turkish, and the remainder Greek, Jewish, Armenian and European. The town contains many mosques, Greek, Armenian and Catholic churches, and a synagogue. There is a resident Greek bishop. The civil governor, and the military commandants of the numerous fortresses on each side of the strait, are stationed here. Many important works have been added to the defences. The Ottoman fleet is stationed at Nagara (anc. Abydos). The average annual number of merchant vessels passing the strait is 12,000 and the regular commercial vessels calling at the port of Dardanelles are represented by numerous foreign agencies. Besides the Turkish telegraph service, the Eastern Telegraph Company has a station at Dardanelles, and there are Turkish, Austrian, French and Russian post offices. The import trade consists of manufactures, sugar, flour, coffee, rice, leather and iron. The export trade consists of valonia (largely produced in the province), wheat, barley, beans, chickpeas, canary seed, liquorice root, pine and oak timber, wine and pottery. Excepting in the items of wine and pottery, the export trade shows steady increase. Every year sees a larger area of land brought under cultivation by immigrants, and adds to the number of mature (i.e. fruit-bearing) valonia trees. Vine-growers are discouraged by heavy fiscal charges, and by the low price of wine; many have uprooted their vineyards. The pottery trade is affected by change of fashion, and the factories are losing their importance. The lower quarters of the town were heavily damaged in the winter of 1900–1901 by repeated inundations caused by the overflow of the Rhodius.

See V. Cuinet, Turquie d’Asie (Paris, 1890–1900).