The longest suspension bridge in the world was completed by a Korean company on March 18. The bridge was built over the Dardanelles Channel between the Gallipoli Peninsula and Asia Minor. The region has been known as the boundary between Asia and Europe for centuries. Canakkale had served as a key port to cross over the straight, where ferries were operated. The channel is fairly small, only a 15-minute journey by ferry. However, it was not easy to build the bridge. The area was narrow and very deep, which gave off a beautiful deep blue color and mad it easy for large cargo and military ships to pass through.
The straight is the only channel that links the Black Sea with the Mediterranean. This means that if Dardanelles is closed off, the Black Sea becomes a still body of water. Given such geological location, the bridge should be sufficiently high, hence the idea for a suspension bridge. As a key point for transportation, it also became the background of countless wars. Persian Emperor Dareios II built a pontoon bridge over this channel and entered the territories what is known today as Ukraine, was defeated by nomadic tribes, and almost never returned. His son, Xerxes, also crossed the channel leading an army of a million and invaded Greece. As the straight filled with tidal waves, he threatened to punish the sea as he threw down his lash on the water. When his turn came to cross the water, however, he placed a golden bowl in the water as toll money. Alexander the Great, at the age of 20, began the conquer the Persian Empire after he crossed the straight.
Troy lies in the west of Canakkale. The east side had seen navel battles that overturned the fate of the wars that raged back then. The Gallipoli Battle of the First World War, which humiliated Churchill for the rest of his life, took place here. The British naval forces and the Osman navel forces fought a bloody battle, mobilizing submarines. What other place in the world holds memories of such epic battles of war?
Canakkale had been an impressive place for me when I visited Turkey. There was no trace of war, and the beaches remained beautiful and bright as ever. A Korean company built a bridge that had been yearned for millennia. It is hoped that the bridge would be one of prosperity and peace, unlike the wars that had taken place. Ironically, though, the far end of the bridge where the Black Sea lies is full of gun smoke.