Bosporus

The Bosporus or Bosphorus (Turkish Bogazici) is a strait that separates the European part of Turkey from the Asian part, and connects the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea. The ancient Greeks referred to this strait as the Thracian Bosporus, as they called the Strait of Kerch the Cimmerian Bosporus. Increasing the chances of confusion, they also called a land area near these two straits by the same name: the Thracian Chersonesus, which is known today as Gallipoli, and the Cimmerian Chersonesus, known today as the Crimea.

Two bridges cross the Bosporus strait: the Bogazici (Bosporus I) Bridge (1074 metres long, completed in 1973) and the Fatih Sultan Mehmed (Bosporus II) Bridge (1090 metres long, completed in 1988).

Due to the importance of the strait for the defense of Istanbul, the Ottoman sultans constructed a castle on each side of it (Anadoluhisari and Rumelihisari). Its strategic importance remains high: several international treaties have governed vessels using the waters. The current one is the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Turkish Straits, signed in 1936.

Some researchers have argued a massive flood around 7600 BC in the region is the basis for flood myths recorded in the Epic of Gilgamesh and in the Bible.


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