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Gelibolu, Turkey.
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Gelibolu, Turkey. Photo: tamra hays.

Town in western (European) Turkey with 25,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate), on the Dardanelles near the opening into the Sea of Marmara. The location made Gelibolu an important defence post for Constantinople (now Istanbul), and it also served as a trade post between Europe and Anatolia.
Today, the main activities in Gelibolu are fishing and sardine-canning.
Gelibolu is well-connected to other urban centres by road. Tekirdag is 120 km northeast, Edirne 200 km north and Istanbul 260 km east. There is also a 30 minute ferry connection with Lapseki on the Asian side of the Dardanelles.
Central in Gelibolu is a Byzantine fortress, of which a stone tower is all that remains. The Ottomans expanded the fortifications in the 14th century, and from that era a square castle still stands.

The founding time of Gelibolu is not known, but the town's history reverts to at least the 5th century BCE, then as an ally of Athens against Persia. It ancient name was Callipolis.
1356: The Byzantine fortresss of Callipolis is conqured by the Ottomans, their first stronghold in Europe.
1914- 1918: Much of Gelibolu is destroyed during World War 1.

By Tore Kjeilen