The Sea of Marmara and the North Aegean: Places to Explore

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Babakale

Babakale is a small, sleepy fishing village at the southern tip of the Çanakkale Peninsula. Legend has it that it was originally a pirate's lair, discovered by Sultan Ahmet III on one of his sea voyages in the 18th century. According to the tale, the villagers complained to the sultan about pirates who were stealing their herds, destroying their crops, and disturbing their peace. The sultan ordered a fortress to be built to keep the pirates out and offered to free all prisoners who helped to build it. Working flat-out for three years, the prisoners completed the castle, along with a mosque, hamam, and fountain. It was named "Babakale," or Baba Castle ("kale" is the Turkish word for "castle"). Today, Babakale is wonderfully peaceful and spacious, contrasting dramatically with its turbulent past. Four kilometers (2½ mi) before Babakale village, after a right turn toward Akliman, are a long sandy beach and a café up the hill overlooking the pine trees and the beach.

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