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Dardanelles

The Dardanelles ( /d?rdn?lz/; Turkish: Canakkale Bogaz?, Greek: ?, Dardanellia), formerly known as Hellespont ( /?h?l?sp?nt/; Greek: ?, Hellespontos, literally "Sea of Helle"), is a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. It is one of the Turkish Straits, along with its counterpart the Bosphorus. It is located at approximately 40°13?N 26°26?E. The strait is 61 kilometres (38 mi) long but only 1.2 to 6 kilometres (0.75 to 3.7 mi) wide, averaging 55 metres (180 ft) deep with a maximum depth of 103 metres (338 ft).[1] Water flows in both directions along the strait, from the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean via a surface current and in the opposite direction via an undercurrent. Like the Bosphorus, it separates Europe (the Gallipoli peninsula) from the mainland of Asia. The strait is an international waterway, and together with the Bosphorus, the Dardanelles connects the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. A suspension bridge project has been planned, connecting Saricay (a district of Canakkale) on the Asian side to Kilitbahir on the European side. At this point, the strait is narrowest. Nomenclature The Turkish name Canakkale Bogaz? is derived from the major city adjoining the strait, Canakkale (which takes its name from its famous castles; kale means "castle"). The name Dardanelles derives from Dardania, an ancient land on the Asian shore of the strait which in turn takes its name from Dardanus, the mythical son of Zeus and Electra. The Greek name ? (Hellespontos) means “Sea of Helle”, and was the ancient

name of the narrow strait. It was variously named in classical literature Hellespontium Pelagus, Rectum Hellesponticum, and Fretum Hellesponticum. It was so called from Helle, the daughter of Athamas, who was drowned here in the mythology of the Golden Fleece. [edit]History The strait has often played a strategic role in history. The Dardanelles is unique in many respects. The very narrow and winding shape of the strait is more akin to that of a river. It is considered one of the most hazardous, crowded, difficult and potentially dangerous waterways in the world. The currents produced by the tidal action in the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara are such that ships under sail must await at anchorage for the right conditions before entering the Dardanelles. The Aegean Sea (/d?in/; Greek: ?, Aigaio Pelagos [eeo ?pela?os] ( listen); Turkish: Ege Denizi or historically Turkish: Adalar Denizi[1]) is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the southern Balkan and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosporus. The Aegean Islands are within the sea and some bound it on its southern periphery, including Crete and Rhodes. The Aegean Region consists of nine provinces in southwestern Turkey, in part bordering on the Aegean sea. The sea was traditionally known as Archipelago (in Greek, ?, meaning "chief sea"), but in English this word's meaning has changed to refer to the Aegean Islands and, generally, to any island group.