World War I Shipwreck Becomes a Museum of the Seabed in Turkey

Fourteen ships sank in the Dardanelles Strait became a new attraction in Turkey. The museum shows a glimpse of the fierce battle between the Ottomans and allied forces in World War I.

Turkish photographer Savas Karakas was one of the first visitors to board the boat and dive to the bottom of the sea when the park opened on Saturday (2/10). There, he said, he seemed to reconnect with his grandfather who fought at Gallipoli in 1915.

“My grandfather’s hand was damaged and burned in the war, and I was always afraid to see him,” said Karakas, an Istanbul resident whose name means war.

“But when I came to Gallipoli and dived, the rusty wreckage reminded me of my grandfather’s hand and I held his hand under the sea.”

Gallipoli Historic Underwater Park opened 106 years after Ottoman and allied German forces prevented the invasion of British, French, Australian and New Zealand forces.

Ottoman resistance became the pride of modern Turkey. At that time, the Ottomans thwarted the Allied plans to control the straits connecting the Aegean to the Black Sea, where the Russian Navy fleet – allies of the four countries – was stationed.

The British defeat included the 120-meter long battleship HMS Majestic. The wreck is now the first stopping point for divers at a depth of 24 meters off the coast of Seddulbahir.

Majestic and other ships are still intact on the seabed. [vm/ft]

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