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Dardanelles (Turkish: Çanakkale Bogazi) is a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea with the Marmara Sea. Just like Bosporus strait, it separates Europe (the Gallipoli peninsula) and the mainland of Asia. The major city neighbouring the strait is Çanakkale (which takes its name from its famous castles; kale means castle). The strait has always had a strategic place in history (e.g. Troy was defended from this point). First the Persian army of Xerxes I and then the Greek army of Alexander the Great crossed the Dardanelles in opposite directions to invade each other's lands. Having a vital importance for the Ottoman fleet for their domination over the eastern Mediterranean region, the strait was finally forced by the Allies during World War I with huge loss of life, almost ending the career of Winston Churchill.