Turkey commemorates fallen soldiers of WWI in Sarıkamış
KARS – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoTens of thousands of people came together to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Sarıkamış operation, during which around 10,000 Turkish soldiers froze to death in the northeastern part of the country during World War I.
People came from across Turkey to gather at a site called Kızılçubuk in the northeastern province of Kars, the beginning point of the Sarıkamış operation, which aimed to defeat the Russian Caucasus Army.
The event, titled “Turkey’s Martyrs Walk,” began with participants marching the same 8.5-kilometer route that Turkish soldiers used during World War I in the Sarıkamış district of Kars, despite cold weather conditions and a temperature of around -10 Celsius.
The operation quickly went terribly wrong and trapped 10,000 soldiers in freezing conditions in Sarıkamış in December 1914 and January 1915.
Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek, Interior Minister Efkan Ala, Youth and Sports Minister Akif Çağatay Kılıç and Kars Governor Günay Özdemir attended the ceremony, accompanied by numerous military officials.
Speaking to the press, Çiçek pointed out the importance of honoring the memory of fallen soldiers.
“These kinds of ceremonies should strengthen our unity and solidarity. Maybe then our martyrs can rest in peace,” Çiçek said.
Along with Turks, Afghan, Macedonian and Palestinian representatives were also in attendance.