Türkiye’s Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy made a commemorative dive into the Lundy shipwreck at 27 meters in the Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park. A part of the Çanakkale strait (The Dardanelles), the Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park is positioned at the meeting point of the Aegean and Marmara seas, attracting divers’ attention worldwide to its underwater treasures.
Minister Ersoy, who was in Çanakkale to participate in the Troy Culture Route Festival events, dived into the Lundy shipwreck at 27 meters deep in Suvla Bay with İsmail Kaşdemir, Head of Gallipoli Historical Site of the Gallipoli Wars. Minister Ersoy, who dived into this giant 188-ton shipwreck, which sank in 1915 and almost preserved its condition on the first day, made a statement to the press members on the way out.
Minister Ersoy said, “Last year, we opened the diving centre with the Çanakkale Wars Gallipoli Historical Site Presidency. This year, too many international diving tourists came to Çanakkale. We hope that these numbers will increase even more next year. Today we did a historical dive in Suvla bay. There is the Lundy shipwreck, a ship built in 1904. The ship sank here and has preserved its form until today. You can get the feeling of walking on the ship.”
Warships that sank 107 years ago on the historical Gallipoli Peninsula, where the Dardanelles Wars took place, are welcoming their visitors at the “Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park”. The epic shipwrecks of Çanakkale, which bestow many stories, are now a part of the first underwater park with the theme of World War I.
About Gallipoli Historic Underwater Park
Under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the works of the Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park project started in 2017 by the Directorate of Gallipoli Historic Site to make Çanakkale one of the world’s most important diving tourism centres. In 2019, a project-support protocol was signed between the Presidency and the South Marmara Development Agency. TÜBİTAK Marmara Research Center started the field studies of the project under the consultancy of the İstanbul University Underwater Cultural Relics Conservation Department. As a result of inventory studies that lasted for two years, a destination that allows diving in an area of 150 kilometres was created.
Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park, the meeting point of the Aegean and Marmara seas and attracts the world’s attention thanks to its underwater treasures, has been open since October 2, 2021, and has revealed the history under the water since then.
Hidden gems under the water
The first diving point in Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park is the 120-metre-long British battleship ‘HMS Majestic’, sunk by the German U-21 submarine off the coast of Seddülbahir on May 27 1915. Unexploded artillery shells and gunpowder on the sunken ship at a depth of 24 meters attract the attention of diving lovers.
AndreaMassena, who took her name from one of the important marshals of the French Revolution, and the Seghalien sunken ship that went on her last mission with them, are waiting for the visit of diving lovers at a depth of 5-7 meters in the Bay of Ertugrul. The ships, which still maintain their original form, create the impression that time has stopped under the sea.
The Helles Barges, which were used to procure supplies during the landings in Çanakkale and played an effective role in the landing of thousands of soldiers in Çanakkale, also meet with her visitors at the Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park.
The unique history of underwater
In the Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park, where Tekke Bay (W Beach) shipwrecks, Arıburnu barges, Small Bone barges, Arıburnu Lash Ship, Lundy shipwreck, HMS Louis, S.S Milo and Tuzla shipwrecks can be seen; Located at a depth of 10 meters in Akbaş Bay, the Submarine Mania Network, which stopped dozens of submarines during the Çanakkale Wars, draws attention as a unique historical beauty that underwater photographers must see.
Amazing images along with hundreds of sea world creatures
The British ship HMS Triumph, which sank into the waters with its 73 personnel on May 25, 1915, is waiting for its visitors at a depth of 70 meters in Kabatepe as a mausoleum.
Bebek reefs, which hold hundreds of living species together and are the place where Halley’s Comet was seen for the first time in history, are also located within the borders of Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park. Offering hundreds of colours and species to divers who want to experience current diving, Bebek reefs are a candidate to become an indispensable spot for diving lovers worldwide.
Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park Project is a project which has started with a view to raising awareness about the Battles of Gallipoli. In parallel, the shipwrecks in the Dardanelles and the Aegean Sea, which remained from World War I and have historical importance, were located using the newest digital technologies. The project is, in this sense, an ongoing underwater research project that aims to help protect the shipwrecks of the Battle of Gallipoli for the next generations.
The directorate of Gallipoli Historic Site was founded in 2014 to protect the area where the Battle of Gallipoli took place and to raise awareness about the Battles of Gallipoli to the next generations. As the best-preserved battle zone, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. Not only are the traces of the battle on the land preserved, but an action was launched in 2017 aiming to locate and open the wrecks of the ships sunk during the Battle of Gallipoli to visit after the protection measures are taken.
What comes into mind when the word Çanakkale is mentioned is the epic fight that took place on the land in the Gallipoli Peninsula during World War I. Besides, although one of the most important marine events of World War I took place in Çanakkale, it is known by very few people. Most people have no access to these war monuments, which froze at the moment of the unabated fight. They now are underwater cultural heritage located at the different depths of the sea.
The Directorate has 3D maps and 3D applications depicting how the battleships’ wrecks sit at the bottom of the sea to ensure not only those who have the chance to dive but everyone to experience these underwater monuments and understands what there is at the bottom of the sea.