Dardanelles (Strait): History and Economic Importance

He Dardanelles Strait or Çanakkale Strait is a 62 km water channel through which the Aegean Sea can be connected to the Marmara Sea. Its width varies from 1.2 to 7 km. It is considered one of the narrowest in the world. Its average depth is 55 meters and its deepest part reaches more than 100 meters.

The Dardanelles is the only way through which the Marmara Sea connects with the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean; It is therefore very important for fishing, tourism and large-scale international trade.

Dardanelles (narrow)

Currently the Turkish government is in the process of building a suspension bridge. This will allow the passage of cars from the city of Sacay to the city of Kilitbahir. The work began in the year 2017.


  • 1 History
  • 2 Economic importance
    • 2.1 Dardanelles and military activities
    • 2.2 Dangers
  • 3 References


The history of the Dardanelles strait dates back to ancient Greece, where it was vitally important as the port of the city of Troy. With the passing of the years it adhered to the dominions of the Persian, Macedonian and Roman empires.

Finally the Ottoman Empire arrived. The latter was sustained until the birth of the Turkish national republic in the second decade of the last century.

The legendary and legendary Greek story of Hero and Leandro is set in the Dardanelles Strait. It was also known as the presumed path that Africa came from homo ergaster to Europe, who formed what was the first human settlement of this continent.

Given its geostrategic importance, the Strait of Dardanelles has been the protagonist of great naval battles through time. As a result of the foregoing, this strait has had to modify its legal status on several occasions.

Some of these modifications occurred at the time of the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish War, when the transit of military vessels to the Black Sea was limited. There were also alterations in the Crimean War, which generated a series of modifications in the treaties.

There was a time in the twentieth century when a natural water channel and a name were the two main protagonists: the Dardanelles Strait and Winston Churchill, prime minister of victorious England of World War II.

Economic importance

In international relations, Turkey is known as the heartland of the planet; that is, the heart of the world. This is so because it is right at the crossroads between the largest continents of Western culture.

Therefore, it would be good to consider the straits of Dardanelles and Bosphorus as the two main arteries of the heartland . Then, the Dardanelles strait is vital for the economic and commercial development of the region.

To understand the economic importance of the Dardanelles, it is necessary to know the Turkish narrow system (TSS for its acronym in English). Through the straits of Bosphorus and Dardanelles, this system interconnects the adjacencies of the Aegean, Marmara and Black seas.

Then, the transit through this route from the commercial point of view is vital for the interconnection of the region in a faster and safer way. The Turkish narrow system is a complex dynamic system providing water, mass, heat and materials between these domains.

Dardanelles and military activities

During the twentieth century the Turkish straits have witnessed two world wars and the tension of the Cold War.

Likewise, almost 30 years ago, the Soviet Navy of the Black Sea was the main threat to NATO's strategic security alliance around these waters. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, an increase in energy transport has been promoted through these channels.

The main cargoes of the vessels consist of energy resources such as oil and natural gas from the Russian port of Novorossiysk. Additionally, there are provisions of tanker ships full of crude sailing through the straits towards the northwest of the Black Sea, searching the markets of Ukraine, Belarus and Poland.

Apart from energy resources, there are also many products such as grain and steel, which are being exported from the river countries to the Black Sea. In fact, these vessels make up most of the vessels in transit that pass through the straits.


Precisely because of the amount of traffic generated by this step, it entails a series of threats and negative consequences for both humans and from the environmental point of view.

Heavy traffic has been one of the strongest threats to the Straits, as they affect the safety of the coastal population and the preservation of the marine environment.

There are also strong currents; sometimes they exceed the speed of 6 knots. In addition, there are countercurrents, winds, fog and storms; these phenomena are combined with narrow passages and with acute address alterations due to critical turns. All this makes Dardanelo one of the most dangerous channels in the world.

In 2003, the Turkish government took precautions to avoid accidents. Specifically, the Ministry of Transportation established a complex traffic system that covers the Dardanello, Bosphorus and Marmara straits. Its objective is to facilitate the passage of ships through the strait.

In addition to the hazards that cause accidents, you also have to assess the impact of pollution from maritime traffic in a limited space, such as the straits.


  1. Alpar, B. (1999) Origin of the Strait of Canakkale (Dardanelles): regional tectonics and the Mediterranean-Marmara incursion. Retrieved at: www.researchgate.net
  2. Bell, C. M. (2017) Churchill and the Dardanelles: Oxford University Press. Retrieved into: libgen.io
  3. Ozsoy, E. (2018) Turkish Straits System (TSS) Forecasting System Development for the Black Sea Monitoring and Forecasting Center (BS-MFC) of the Copernicus Marine Environment and Monitoring Service (CMEMS): EGU General Assembly 2018 © Author (s) 2018. Retrieved from: meetingorganizer.copernicus.org
  4. Ozturk, B. and Ozkan, R. (2012) THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE SYMPOSIUM ON THE STRAITS USED FOR INTERNATIONAL NAVIGATION: Turkish Marines Research Foundation. Retrieved from: openaccess.dogus.edu.tr
  5. Van Hartesveldt, F. R. (1997) The Dardanelles Campaign, 1915: historiography and annotated Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. Retrieved into: libgen.io

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