Kilitbahir – Guides to Visiting Gallipoli

This page on Kilitbahir is one of a number of articles I have written regarding the Gallipoli Campaign which look at cemeteries, memorials, and battlefields. I have also created guides to help you research soldiers who served in the British Army during the war:


Kilitbahir GallipoliThe village of Kilitbahir is located three miles from Eceabat on the European side of the Dardanelles and can be easily reached by frequent minibuses which ply their trade between the two, or by a ferry from Canakkale. There are a number of restaurants and cafes in the village which sees a large tourist footfall, with the vast majority being Turkish. The small village is dominated by Kilitbahir Fort which was built in 1452 by Mehmet II the Conqueror and refurbished and added to over the centuries. There is a corresponding fort on the Asian shore at Canakkale and between them, they guard the narrowest point of the Dardanelles.

The photograph below was taken from the ferry from Canakkale as it came into the terminus at Kilitbahir. Shown on the hillside is the Dur Yolcu Memorial which commemorates the Turkish naval victory over the Allied fleet on 18 March 1915. You can catch a minibus into Eceabat from the area in front of the ferry. To reach the fort and ramparts, once you come out of the ferry turn left and walk straight, you can’t miss them!Kilitbahir GallipoliAs you walk past the fort, you’ll see a series of low-lying ramparts which can just be made out to the left of the first photograph above. There is also a small museum which mainly contains exhibits found on the battlefields and gives a history of Kilitbahir Fort which I found interesting. The displays are in English and Turkish. If you continue walking past the ramparts you’ll come across a statue of Corporal Seyit who is famous in Turkey for allegedly having loaded three 275kg (606lbs) shells when his gun’s shell crane had been damaged on 18 March 1915. Corporal Seyit appears all over Gallipoli and you can find his likeness on a variety of souvenirs. In Turkish mythology of the battle, Seyit’s shell hit the British battleship Ocean, damaging the ship’s steering which caused it to drift into a minefield and sink. If you look at the photograph below you’ll see the grooves near the base of the shell which is an error. Grooves are caused by the rifling of the barrel of a gun as the shell passes through it and an unfired shell should have a smooth driving band.Corporal Seyit KilitbahirClose to the statue is the Rumeli Mecidiye Rampart which is where Corporal Seyit performed his feat during the 18 March 1915 Allied naval bombardment. The fort was restored in 2011 and a 240mm L/35 Krupp Fortress Gun placed in one of the ramparts with a supporting crew, including Corporal Seyit.240mm L/35 Krupp Fortress Gun KilitbahirThe map below is dated July 1915 and shows how the area looked a hundred years ago. Canakkale Gallipoli Map dated July 1915From Kilitbahir you can:

  • Visit the Gallipoli battlefields. You catch a minibus to Alçıtepe (Krithia) to visit Helles. I caught a bus at 10 am in the offseason, I don’t believe they leave more than once an hour. Check with your hotel for times. To visit Anzac Cove, I’d recommend travelling back to Eceabat and getting a taxi from outside the ferry terminal.
  • Take a minibus or taxi to Eceabat
  • Catch a ferry to Canakkale