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Çanakkale is a town and seaport in Turkey, in Çanakkale Province, on the southern (Asian) coast of the Dardanelles (or Hellespont) at their narrowest point. Çanakkale Province, like Istanbul Province, has territory in both Europe and Asia. Ferries cross here to the northern (European) side of the strait.
Çanakkale is the nearest major town to the site of ancient Troy. The "wooden horse" from the 2004 movie Troy is exhibited on the seafront. Çanakkale is the second city to be situated on two continents after Istanbul. However Çanakkale is closer to mid-division than Istanbul.
The first inhabitants of the city, which hosted many civilizations, had lived on the Biga Peninsula in the Last Chalcolithic Age circa 6000 years ago. However, very little is known about the identity and lifestyle of these early settlers. According to some excavations and research, the earliest settlements in the region were set up at Kumtepe. It is supposed that Kumkale was set up in 4000 B.C and Troy was set up between 3500–3000 B.C. The real history of Çanakkale started with Troy. It was the brightest cultural center of its time during 3000–2000 B.C.
Later the Aeolians had settled on that important land in the 8th century B.C. and established many trade colonies in the region called Aeolis. The region went under the control of the Lydians in the 7th century B.C and under the control of the Persians in the 6 th century B.C. Aeolis went under the control of the Macedonians as Alexander the Great defeated the Persians by the Granicus River of the region in the Battle of the Granicus on his way to Asia. The region went under the reign of the Kingdom of Pergamon in the 2nd century B.C.
The western part of the Biga Peninsula where ancient Troy is stiuated was called Troas. Alexandria Troas, an important settlement of the region, was a free trade port and a rich trade center during Roman times. Later in the 2nd century A.D., the region was attacked by Goths from Thrace. During the 7th and 8th centuries, in order to attack Constantinople (modern İstanbul) the Arabs passed the strait a few times and came up to Sestos. At the beginning of the 14th century the Karesi dominated the Anatolian part of the strait. During the first half of that century Demirhan Bey from Karesioğulları attempted to dominate the region. The Ottomans gained control of Gallipoli in 1367.
The 'Chanak Crisis' of 1922 centred around a British and French force stationed at Çanakkale after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire. The new Turkish Republic demanded their withdrawal. Lloyd George wanted to fight the Turks because their leader at 'Chanak', Kemal Atatürk, had defied a signed and legal treaty via armament and military aggressiveness. Ultimately, the British and Turkish troops ended up at an impasse. Rather than engaging in another war on the heels of the first World War, peace was negotiated.