Four quick questions with Jeremy and Christopher on our small group trip to Turkey
In advance of our fascinating small group trip to Turkey in March 2022, taking in Istanbul, Bursa, the Dardanelles Strait, Gallipoli, Troy and Assos, we asked our trip leaders – author, travel writer and broadcaster, Jeremy Seal, and Co-Owner + Director of cazenove+loyd, Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell – to answer four quick questions about the upcoming adventure:
What inspired this journey?
Christopher: “Originally, we devised this journey as a way to see Gallipoli from the sea. My great-uncle fell at the battle, aged just 19, and I felt that myself and others might see a trip like this as an excuse to visit the battlefield. Then, on talking to Jeremy Seal, we felt that taking in much, much more than just Gallipoli would make for a more rounded and complete insight into modern and ancient Turkey.”
Jeremy: “It’s so different. There are so many Turkey itineraries – along the Aegean and Med coasts, in Istanbul and to the interior – but it’s vanishingly rare that one undertakes anything like this. This is a great way of combining the magnificent city of Istanbul with the sites both on the shores of the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean coast. I’ve long been a fan of moving between sites by sea in Turkey, typically by gulet schooner along the Med; and this does something similar, in considerably greater comfort in the Sea of Marmara and beyond. I’m also struck by the way that history echoes, not least at Troy and Gallipoli, and the fabled campaigns there some 3 millennia apart.”
Why the Halas 71?
Christopher: “We were introduced to the owner of this vintage yacht by a friend and client who had sailed on her. So stylish and special, she is the perfect way for a relatively small group of us to travel in comfort – and the image of navigating into or out of the city of Istanbul on such a vessel, let alone travelling further, caught the imagination.”
Jeremy: “Well, it seems there’s nothing quite like her…”
What are you most looking forward to?
Christopher: “Personally, visiting where my great-uncle fell on the battlefield will be special. A cousin has found me the detailed narrative of the day he fell and we can be fairly certain of the situation on the ground. Seeing the lie of the land is so much more powerful than looking at a map or a diagram of a battle and human stories come to life. But I’m also longing to feel the fresh sea breeze as we sail along the famed Bosphorus and the Dardanelles Strait, as well as looking forward to exploring vibrant Istanbul and, of course, tasting all those delicious Turkish dishes in some of the city’s best restaurants.”
Jeremy: “I am particularly looking forward to our time on the Gallipoli Peninsula, not least because this is among the most beautiful and unspoilt sections of the Aegean coast – its status as a graveyard for hundreds of thousands of combattants, on both sides, often in unmarked graves, has ensured almost no development whatsoever. The flora and birdlife are also wonderful.”
Why should someone join this trip?
Christopher: “I’m hoping that a number of people from families whose men fell at Gallipoli in 1915 will join the trip – perhaps some from Australia and New Zealand. However, with Turkey as ever on the tectonic plate between East and West and so in the news recently with both Brexit and Syria, I think that anyone with a general interest in politics, history and culture will grab this opportunity of seeing so many aspects of Turkey with a guide of Jeremy Seal’s calibre.”
Jeremy: “I think it’s unique and rich in varied and extraordinary attractions as well as wonderful landscapes: leaving Istanbul by sea, for example, passing through the Dardanelles, seeing Troy and Gallipoli, and all in as comfortable a manner as possible.”