Figurine representing a Turkish soldier from World War I and a woman carrying an artillery shell.
Glazed earthenware (with painting over the glaze) from Çanakkale, 20th century.
During World War I, Çanakkale was the stage of a year-long battle between the Allies and Turkish forces. In addition, from April 1915 to January 1916, a joint British/French operation was mounted to capture the Gallipolli peninsula first, and the Ottoman capital of Constantinople afterwards. The attempt failed, but not without heavy casualties on both sides. This was Mustafa Kemal Paşa’s (Atatürk) first major military success, which make the event even more important to local (and general) Turkish pride.
Regarding ceramics from Çanakkale:
Çanakkale is a town on the Asian coast of the Dardanelles (or Hellespont) at their narrowest point. Çanakkale was an Ottoman fortress called Sultaniye kalesi (Fortress of the Sultan). It later became known for its pottery, hence the later name Çanak kalesi = ‘Pot fortress’ (from the words çanak = ceramic bowl and kale = fortress) or ‘Çanakkale’.
Çanakkale ceramics from late 17th to 20th century attest that the city was one of the most important centres of ceramic production during Ottoman Empire, running in parallel to the Kütahya pottery industry. Çanakkale ceramics gained popularity in 18th and 19th centuries, and benefiting from the city’s geographical location on the water passage of all commercial and naval ships, became widely known as souvenirs and gift articles, often with a curious design. Another particularity, common practise in Çanakkale potteries, is the painting over the glaze (instead of underglaze, as was done in Kütahya).
Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Source: Website of ‘ceramopolis.com’.