Merkez Tabya (Fort Sultan)

Armament: three 150 mm L/26 guns, three 90 mm Krupp guns

Some local historians believe this fort is a castle (Çimpe Kalesi) in which Ghazi Süleyman Pasha settled after he has landed with his army on Gallipoli Peninsula in 1354. In fact it is a classic 19th century artillery fort – the only preserved fort in the Dardanelles area which was designed not to fight back the navy but to repulse attacks of land forces.

Until 1990’s the fort was still a military zone. Its user – for the reasons known only to himself – decided to remove the earth covering the top of ammunition stores and caponiers. Results of this mindlessness can be seen on the below pictures taken in 2008 and 2011.


A satellite view of Fort Merkez. Red lines show its original shape and size when it was built in 17th or 18th century. Its current shape was given to the fort in the second half of the 19th century.

Three gun emplacements of Fort Merkez prior to the Balkan Wars. Note the 150/26 guns on their positions and the ammunition stores still covered with earth. (Piotr Nykiel's collection)

Fort Merkez (on the top of the hill) seen from the North (approach from Bolayır village).

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Fort Merkez (on the top of the hill) seen from the West (approach from Fort Yıldız / Napoleon).

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Fort Merkez seen from its Eastern flank.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Fort Merkez seen from its Eastern flank.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Fort Merkez seen from its Western flank.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Eastern caponier.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Central caponier.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

The moat.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Fort’s Western flank with infantry loopholes (to the left), entrance to the caponier (in the middle) and to the ammunition store (to the right).

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Still relatively well preserved postern of the Western caponier.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

The moat on the Western flank seen from the top of the ammunition store. Gulf of Saros and Thracian shore in the distance.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

A gun emplacement completely filled with earth removed from the top of ammunition stores.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Ceiling of an ammunition store deteriorating after removal of the earth cover.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Entrance to the ammunition store.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Interior of the ammunition store.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Entrance to the central caponier.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Postern of the central caponier.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Interior of the central caponier.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Interior of the central caponier.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Interior of the central caponier.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Postern of the Eastern caponier – in 2008 on the verge of collapse.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Interior of the Eastern caponier – in 2008 also on the verge of collapse.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Fort Merkez's main ammunition store (seen form the South).

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Fort Merkez's main ammunition store's interior.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

Fort Merkez's main ammunition store's interior.

(Photo: Piotr Nykiel)

 

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