The warships that sank 106 years ago on the Historical Gallipoli Peninsula, where the Çanakkale Wars took place, were opened to tourism with the “Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park”. Çanakkale's epic shipwrecks will feature the first World War I themed underwater park. The 106 sunken ships, including the British Royal Battleship 'HMS Majestic', which was sunk 14 years ago off the coast of Seddülbahir Castle, attract the attention of diving enthusiasts around the world with their mysterious stories.
The opening of the Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park, which is the meeting point of the Aegean and Marmara seas and attracts the attention of the whole world with its underwater treasures, was held with a ceremony held in Seddülbahir Castle. Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Nadir Alpaslan, Çanakkale Governor İlhami Aktaş, AK Party Group Deputy Chairman Bülent Turan, AK Party Çanakkale Deputy Jülide İskenderoğlu, Çanakkale Wars Gallipoli Historical Site Head İsmail Kaşdemir, French Defense Attache Colonel Philippe Boulogne, Turkish Underwater Sports Federation (TSSF) President Prof. Dr. Şahin Özen and guests attended. The ceremony, which started with the movie “Çanakkale Destinasyon”, continued with a moment of silence and the singing of the National Anthem.
“Çanakkale will be one of the most beautiful diving destinations”
Speaking at the ceremony, Çanakkale Wars Gallipoli Historical Site Chairman İsmail Kaşdemir said, “In Çanakkale, there was a great battle at sea as well as land battles, it was a great struggle. As a result of that great struggle, there was actually a great history under the sea. A treasure lay. A beautiful destination has emerged where an underwater park is formed in an area of 14 square kilometers with 150 different diving points. Canakkale will be one of the most beautiful diving destinations, candidate to be the center of diving. Because of course there are shipwrecks at every dive station, every dive center, different shipwrecks, but in our Çanakkale, every shipwreck has a story. Every shipwreck and every diving spot has a memory for people. Therefore, we think that the entire shipwreck and the entire underwater inventory will leave great memories for our people. This is Çanakkale Historical Site, which will be a meeting point both in Turkey and in the world.”
After the speech of Area President İsmail Kaşdemir, the program continued with the 'Gallibolu Historical Underwater Park Promotional Film'.
“A museum not only above but also below Çanakkale”
AK Party Group Deputy Chairman Bülent Turan, who came to the podium after the introductory film, stated that they gave a new impetus to tourism with the Gallipoli Underwater Historical Park, and said, “Under the leadership of our Area President, our Ministry of Culture, we have been dreaming of our city for a long time, showing that not only the top but also the gold is a museum and it is valuable. We are on the verge of a work. He has a large shipwreck inventory. We live in a world where, as far as I know, there has been no cultural diving activity since World War I. We are on the eve of a very different study that will present the cultural inventory of the 1st World War and provide the opportunity to dive.”
“They will come in droves from all over the world”
Speaking at the presentation and opening ceremony of the Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park, Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Nadir Alpaslan said in his speech:
“106 years ago, we wrote a great epic on this land. He witnessed in these lands that he would sacrifice his life for the independence of the Turkish nation, his devotion to his homeland, and make all kinds of sacrifices for it. We established the great Turkey with the great struggle we made here. We have a great responsibility to carry out the necessary works to give the necessary value to the lands where these important events took place. Since Çanakkale has a very high potential in this regard, it is extremely important to promote and market it in the world. We, as the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, are opening an underwater diving center by introducing a new product. Therefore, Çanakkale has an important potential in terms of history, culture and diving tourism.”
Emphasizing that Çanakkale can serve in every field except ski tourism, Alpaslan said, “As long as we turn it into a very good product. Let's introduce it to the world. People from all parts of the world will flock here. And it will pave the way for its further development.”
The introduction and opening ceremony of the Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park ended with the stage show of the Antalya State Opera and Ballet “Venera Ensemble” Group.
Journey into history underwater
Under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park project started in 2017 by the Çanakkale Wars Gallipoli Historical Site Presidency in order to make Çanakkale one of the world's most important diving tourism centers. In 2019, a support protocol for the project was signed between the Presidency and the South Marmara Development Agency. Field studies of the project were started by TUBITAK Marmara Research Center under the consultancy of Istanbul University Underwater Cultural Relics Conservation Department, and as a result of inventory studies that lasted for two years, a destination that allows diving in an area of 150 kilometers was created.
time under the submarine
The first diving point in the Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park, where the battle under the sea in the Çanakkale Victory, which has been told from land until today, is also revealed, is the 27-meter-long British battleship 'HMS Majestic' sunken by the German U-1915 submarine off the coast of Seddülbahir on 21 May 120. it will be. Unexploded artillery shells and gunpowder on the sunken ship at a depth of 24 meters will attract the attention of diving lovers.
Andrea Massena, named after one of the important marshals of the French Revolution, and the Saghalien sunken ships that went on her last mission with her, await the visit of diving lovers at a depth of 5-7 meters in Ertuğrul Bay. The ships, which still maintain their form, create the impression that time has stopped under the sea.
The Helles Barges, which were used to supply supplies during the landings in Çanakkale and played an effective role in the landing of thousands of soldiers in Çanakkale, will also meet with its visitors with the opening of the Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park.
Unique underwater history
Tekke Bay (W Beach) shipwrecks, Arıburnu barges, Small Bone barges, Arıburnu Layteri, Lundy shipwreck, HMS Louis, SS Milo and Tuzla shipwrecks can be seen in the Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park; Located at a depth of 10 meters in Akbaş Bay, the Submarine Mania Network, which stopped dozens of submarines during the Çanakkale Wars, draws attention as a unique historical beauty that underwater photographers must see.
Spectacular view with hundreds of sea creatures
The British ship HMS Triumph, which was buried with its 25 personnel on May 1915, 73, is waiting for its visitors at a depth of 70 meters in Kabatepe as a mausoleum.
Bebek Cliffs, which hold hundreds of living species together and are the place where Halley's Comet was seen for the first time in history, are also located within the borders of Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park. Offering hundreds of colors and living species to divers who want to experience current diving, Bebek reefs are a candidate to become an indispensable spot for diving lovers around the world.
Efforts are continuing to bring the shipwrecks, which are known to have sunk during the First World War but have not yet been unearthed, to be included in diving tourism in the Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park.