1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Gallipoli (Turkey)

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25627411911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 11 — Gallipoli (Turkey)

GALLIPOLI (Turk. Gelibolu, anc. Καλλίπολις), a seaport and city of European Turkey, in the vilayet of Adrianople; at the north-western extremity of the Dardanelles, on a narrow peninsula 132 m. W.S.W. of Constantinople, and 90 m. S. of Adrianople, in 40° 24′ N. and 26° 40′ 30″ E. Pop. (1905) about 25,000. Nearly opposite is Lapsaki on the Asiatic side of the channel, which is here about 2 m. wide. Gallipoli has an unattractive appearance; its streets are narrow and dirty, and many of its houses are built of wood, although there are a few better structures, occupied by the foreign residents and the richer class of Turkish citizens. The only noteworthy buildings are the large, crowded and well-furnished bazaars with leaden domes. There are several mosques, none of them remarkable, and many interesting Roman and Byzantine remains, especially a magazine of the emperor Justinian (483–565), a square castle and tower attributed to Bayezid I. (1389–1403), and some tumuli on the south, popularly called the tombs of the Thracian kings. The lighthouse, built on a cliff, has a fine appearance as seen from the Dardanelles. Gallipoli is the seat of a Greek bishop. It has two good harbours, and is the principal station for the Turkish fleet. From its position as the key of the Dardanelles, it was occupied by the allied French and British armies in 1854. Then the isthmus a few miles north of the town, between it and Bulair, was fortified with strong earthworks by English and French engineers, mainly on the lines of the old works constructed in 1357. These fortifications were renewed and enlarged in January 1878, on the Russians threatening to take possession of Constantinople. The peninsula thus isolated by the fortified positions has the Gulf of Saros on the N.W., and extends some 50 m. S.W. The guns of Gallipoli command the Dardanelles just before the strait joins the Sea of Marmora. The town itself is not very strongly fortified, the principal fortifications being farther down the Dardanelles, where the passage is narrower.

The district (sanjak) of Gallipoli is exceedingly fertile and well adapted for agriculture. It has about 100,000 inhabitants, and comprises four kazas (cantons), namely, (1) Maitos, noted for its excellent cotton; (2) Keshan, lying inland north of Gallipoli, noted for its cattle-market, and producing grain, linseed and canary seed; (3) Myriofyto; and (4) Sharkeui or Shar-Koi (Peristeri) on the coast of the Sea of Marmora. Copper ore and petroleum are worked at Sharkeui, and the neighbourhood formerly produced wine that was highly esteemed and largely exported to France for blending. Heavy taxation, however, amounting to 55% of the value of the wine, broke the spirit of the viticulturists, most of whom uprooted their vines and replanted their lands with mulberry trees, making sericulture their occupation.

There are no important industrial establishments in Gallipoli itself, except steam flour-mills and a sardine factory. The line of railway between Adrianople and the Aegean Sea has been prejudicial to the transit trade of Gallipoli, and several attempts have been made to obtain concessions for the construction of a railway that would connect this port with the Turkish railway system. Steamers to and from Constantinople call regularly. In 1904 the total value of the exports was £80,000. Wheat and maize are exported to the Aegean islands and to Turkish ports on the mainland; barley, oats and linseed to Great Britain; canary seed chiefly to Australia; beans to France and Spain. Semolina and bran are manufactured in the district. Live stock, principally sheep, pass through Gallipoli in transit to Constantinople and Smyrna. Cheese, sardines, goats’ skins and sheepskins are also exported. The imports include woollen and cotton fabrics from Italy, Germany, France and Great Britain, and hardware from Germany and Austria. These goods are imported through Constantinople. Cordage is chiefly obtained from Servia. Other imports are fuel, iron and groceries.

The Macedonian city of Callipolis was founded in the 5th century B.C. At an early date it became a Christian bishopric, and in the middle ages developed into a great commercial city, with a population estimated at 100,000. It was fortified by the East Roman emperors owing to its commanding strategic position and its valuable trade with Greece and Italy. In 1190 the armies of the Third Crusade, under the emperor Frederick I. (Barbarossa), embarked here for Asia Minor. After the capture of Constantinople by the Latins in 1204, Gallipoli passed into the power of Venice. In 1294 the Genoese defeated a Venetian force in the neighbourhood. A body of Catalans, under Roger Florus, established themselves here in 1306, and after the death of their leader massacred almost all the citizens; they were vainly besieged by the allied troops of Venice and the Empire, and withdrew in 1307, after dismantling the fortifications. About the middle of the 14th century the Turks invaded Europe, and Gallipoli was the first city to fall into their power. The Venetians under Pietro Loredano defeated the Turks here in 1416.