When Fatih Sultan Mehmet II conquered Istanbul in 1453, he realized the new Ottoman capital was vulnerable to attack by the Venetians via the Dardanelles. The clover-shaped Kilitbahir Castle (Kilitbahir means “lock of the sea”) was then built in 1462 on the southern point of today’s Gallipoli Peninsula at the narrowest point of the Dardanelles, directly opposite the Çimenlik Castle in Çanakkale on the northern bank. Together, the castles controlled maritime traffic through the Dardanelles, protecting Istanbul from invasion.
By Leeann Murphy, AFAR Local Expert
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