Travelogues of a Sentimental Journey through Çanakkale, Turkey
Çanakkale is a mid-size city on the Dardanelles Strait. It is generally known as the Second World War battleground of the Gallipoli Campaign, when the British Empire and France failed to capture Istanbul as the Ottomans used geographical features to their advantage. Çanakkale also sits in the region that is believed to be the same as ancient Troy, whose destruction is featured in Homer’s Iliad and The Odyssey. Until the late nineteenth century, the Trojan War was considered to be a fictional event, but then pioneer archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann followed Homer’s geographical descriptions and identified Hisarlık Hill with the help of Frank Calvert as the site of the ancient city. The site is now UNESCO World Heritage, but the line between myth and reality is still blurred. The case study of Çanakkale will thus expand on the grey area of the city’s contemporary physical condition and the mythological potential of its underlying urban narrative as a place of epic significance, a place in which fictional stories overlap with the physical description of the urban and natural environment. The multitude of meanings and symbolism assigned to the city and region of Çanakkale thus prove to be fruitful grounds for the exploration of travelogues’ potential as a subgenre of travel literature that sways between myth and reality, as was shown in the workshop The City and the Myth organized 18-20 July 2022 with the support of the COST Action Writing Urban Places.
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