Çanakkale Historical Underwater Park became the new route of diving enthusiasts with its wrecks bearing the traces of the war

The shipwrecks from the First World War, which were brought to diving tourism in 2021 with the initiatives of the Çanakkale Wars and Gelibolu Historical Site Presidency, have become one of the favorite routes for those who want to explore the history underwater.

The shipwrecks from the First World War, which were brought to diving tourism in 2021 with the initiatives of the Çanakkale Wars and Gelibolu Historical Site Presidency of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, have become one of the favorite routes for those who want to explore the history underwater.

The Çanakkale Peninsula is now attracting attention not only with its martyrdoms and monuments on land, but also with its shipwrecks that carry traces of 109 years ago underwater.

The Çanakkale Historical Underwater Park, where the warships sunk in the historical Çanakkale Peninsula are located, “HMS Majestic”, “Ertuğrul Bay Massena and Saghalien shipwrecks”, “Helles Barges”, “Tekke Bay (W Beach) wrecks”, “Arıburnu Barge”, “Küçükkemikli Barges”, “Arıburnu Layter”, “Lundy”, “HMS Louis”, “S. S. Milo”, “Tuzla”, “Submarine Mania Network”, “Bebek Rocks” and “HMS Triumph”.

The first shipwreck of the Çanakkale Wars “Battleship Mesudiye”

The Battleship Mesudiye, which made history as the first shipwreck of the Çanakkale Wars, was ordered to the British Thames Iron Work Company in 1872 with the Battleship Memduhiye as a result of Sultan Abdülaziz’s (1861-1876) policy to modernize the Ottoman Navy.

The battleship, whose construction started in 1873, was launched in 1875 after its construction was completed. On the morning of December 13, 1914, the British submarine “HMS B11” under the command of Lieutenant Norman Douglas Holbrook torpedoed the Battleship Mesudiye after passing through minefields.

Of the 598 crew members on board, 10 officers and 25 enlisted men were martyred. Many of the weapons on board were salvaged and used to strengthen the defense of the Dardanelles.

This battery, named Mesudiye Bastion in honor of the ship, helped sink the French battleship Bouvet in March 1915.

“HMS Lundy” is one of the rare shipwrecks

The British seized the 1908-built 188-ton trawler “HMS Lundy”, one of the rare shipwrecks remaining in one piece in the depths of Çanakkale, during the First World War and sent it to war.

“HMS Lundy”, which served as the minesweeper of England in the war, was sunk on August 16, 1915 by the British who realized that they could not cross the Dardanelles.

On the “HMS Lundy” wreck, which was found at a depth of 27 meters in Suvla Bay between Büyük Kemikli and Küçük Kemikli, colorful sponges, groupers, groupers, groupers, weasels, weasels, black sea bass, lobsters, insects, sea rabbits and moray eels can be seen.

Second submarine to infiltrate the Marmara Sea

The British submarine “HMS E 14” is known as the second submarine to infiltrate the Marmara Sea after the “B11” during the Çanakkale Wars.

The submarine “HMS E 14”, which was shot down by Turkish coastal artillery in Kumkale and has been a silent witness of history in the depths of the Bosphorus for 109 years, entered the Çanakkale strait on January 28, 1918 to attack the “Yavuz” ship of the Ottoman Navy, which ran aground at Cape Nara.

Meanwhile, the submarine “HMS E 14”, which was caught in the nets at Cape Nara, was forced to surface by underwater bombs. The captain of the submarine, who wanted to escape from here, retreated and tried to escape towards the Aegean Sea, but was sunk by cannon fire around Kumkale.

The wreckage of the submarine “HMS E 14”, in which only 5 of the crew survived and 27 people died, was not found for a long time.

Turkey’s most famous shipwreck “HMS Majestic”

At the outbreak of World War I, “HMS Majestic” joined the United Fleet for the Battle of Gallipoli.

The 128-meter-long battleship was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine “U-21” under the command of Otto Hersing on May 27, 1915, while it was shelling Turkish troops at Seddülbahir.

Turkey’s most famous shipwreck located at a depth of 18-23 meters off Seddülbahir, which was forbidden to dive for many years, was opened to diving with the initiatives of the Çanakkale Wars Gallipoli Historical Site Presidency.

“HMS Louis Frigate” is a diving spot where sea creatures can be photographed

The destroyer-type “HMS Louis Frigate”, which was damaged in a collision with a tugboat during the Çanakkale War and drifted and sat on the sand, was tried to be rescued but without success.

The wreck, located at a depth of 14 meters at Cape Büyük Kemikli, has become an important underwater diving spot where fish and living creatures can be photographed perfectly.

“We are ready to be the locomotive of diving tourism in Turkey”

İsmail Kaşdemir, President of Çanakkale Wars Gallipoli Historical Site, told AA correspondent that as the Presidency of the Historical Site, they created an underwater park as a result of a very special work on an area of 150 square kilometers in Çanakkale.

Pointing to the importance of the region, Kaşdemir said, “With the recent work we have done, this place has now become an underwater park that is completely protected and no longer needs to be anchored or hooked. We are very ambitious, very excited. Gelibolu Historical Underwater Park is a candidate to become one of the most important diving spots in the world in a very short time. We invite everyone to this beauty and we express once again that we are waiting for all diving enthusiasts underwater in Gelibolu.”

“The richest region in the world in terms of wreck inventory”

Underwater documentary producer and cinematographer Tahsin Ceylan emphasized that the Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park is the richest region in the world in terms of wreck inventory.

Reminding that the Çanakkale shipwrecks were forbidden to diving for years, Ceylan reminded that the region was brought to diving tourism with the initiatives of the Çanakkale Wars Gelibolu Historical Site Presidency.

Stating that diving lovers from Turkey and different countries of the world come to Gelibolu Historical Underwater Park, Ceylan said, “Unfortunately, there is only one diving center in Çanakkale that provides professional diving services. I believe that these standards should be increased and the history in these depths should be brought to tourism before it disappears.”

Ceylan added that they carried out the last wreck dive with Coast Guard Command diving teams and members of Çanakkale Fishermen Sports Club.

Mücahid Ahlatçı

Hi, I'm Mucahid. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to Happy reading!

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