views updated


CANAKKALE (Turk. Çanakkale or Kala-i Sultaniye; Eng. Dardanelles ), town in Turkey. Canakkale was established in 1463 on the Asian shore of the Dardanelles between the ancient Abydos and Dardanos. Jews initially settled in Parium about 48 b.c.e. during the Roman era and then in Gallipoli and Koila during the Byzantine era. They settled in the newly founded Canakkale in the 17th century. Toward the end of the 18th century there were approximately 50 Jewish families there. In the 19th century the Jewish population of Canakkale increased from about 550 Jews (118 households) in the 1820s to about 1,100 (139 households) in 1876, 1,354 in 1888, and 1,805 in 1894. In addition, in 1894 there were 926 foreign Jews, yabanciyan, in Canakkale. As the community tripled in size, the number of synagogues rose from one to three at the end of the 19th century, Yachan, Hadache, and Halio, and the community spread to *Bayramic, *Ezine, and *Lapseki after the 1880s. During the Gallipoli Campaign, the Jewish population of Canakkale temporarily fled the war zone to Bayramic. The Jews generally specialized in trade and crafts as peddlers, merchants, tailors, greengrocers, mercers, tinners, bakers, jewelers, tobacconists, grain merchants, porters, and winegrowers, while some served as dragomans in foreign consulates and in provisioning ships sailing between Europe and Asia. In 1878 The *Alliance Israélite Universelle opened its first school. The famous Aynalı Bazaar (Halio Passage), an important trade center in Canakkale, was built in 1889 through a donation by Iliya Halios, the Jewish merchant. The town suffered from disastrous fires in 1836, in 1845 (when the whole Jewish quarter was destroyed), in 1860, and in 1866, from an earthquake in 1912, and from British and French naval bombardment in 1915. The collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of the Turkish Republic opened a new era for the Jews of Canakkale. The official 1927 census recorded 200 Jewish families with 952 surrounding men and women. In 1934 anti-Jewish incidents took place in the area and as a result a considerable number of Jews took refuge in Istanbul. In 1940 the community numbered 250 families. After 1948 many of the Jews of Canakkale settled in Israel. According to estimates, not more than 300–400 Jews were left in the town in 1970. In 2005 about 10 Jews lived there and there was only one synagogue. As part of the Jewish cultural heritage, one may include the Jewish cemeteries, redesigned as the Quincentennial Park, the clock tower built in 1897 by a Jewish merchant and Italian vice consul, the entrance to the Aynalı Bazaar, a large number of houses, and a bakery.


Handbook for Travelers in Constantinople, Brusa, and the Troad (London, 1893), 135–38; V. Cuinet, La Turquie d'Asie, 3 (1894), 689–771; A. Galanté, Histoire des Juifs d'Anatolie, 4(1987), 201–24; J. Thomas et al., Byzantine Monastic Foundation Documents: A Complete Translation of the Surviving Founders' Typika and Testaments, 2 (2000), 725, 770; M. Franco, Essai sur l'Histoire des Israélites de l'Empire Ottoman depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours (1897), 242; E. Raczynski, 1814'de İstanbul ve Çanakkale'ye Seyahat (1980), 149; J.M. Cook, Troad: An Archeological and Topographical Study (1973), 53.

[M. Mustafa Kulu (2nd ed.)]