Turkey commemorates fallen soldiers in WWI’s Sarıkamış campaign with snow sculptures
Snow sculptures have been carved in the shape of soldiers in the northeastern province of Kars to mark the 103rd anniversary of the Sarıkamış operation during the World War I, which left around 10,000 Ottoman soldiers dead.
Some 100 trucks of snow were used to carve the sculptures, which were completed over the course of one week in tough weather conditions between minus 5 degrees and minus 17 degrees. Specially designed lighting has also been used for the sculptures.
The sculptures will be exhibited on Jan. 6 during an event in Kars’ Cıbıltepe ski resort.
One of the sculptors, Muhammet Hanifi Zengin, an academic at the Kafkas University in Kars, said they were carrying out duty out of loyalty for fallen soldiers.
“This year we worked in sub-zero conditions in a bid to show gratitude to our martyrs. We once again remember them with mercy. May God never again show us such wars,” Zengin said.
Every year, people come from across Turkey to gather at a site called Kızılçubuk in Kars - the beginning point of the Ottoman Empire’s Sarıkamış operation, which aimed to defeat the Russian Caucasus Army – in order to commemorate the fallen soldiers. The operation quickly went terribly wrong and trapped 10,000 soldiers in freezing conditions in Sarıkamış in December 1914 and January 1915.