Turkey commemorates Sarikamis martyrs

Along with Turkish people across country, Afghans, Macedonians and Palestinians were among the crowd

Along with Turkish people across country, Afghans, Macedonians and Palestinians were among the crowd

KARS – Thousands of people came together in Turkey on Sunday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Sarikamis operation, during which around 90 thousand Turkish soldiers froze to death in 1914.

Along with Turkish people across country, Afghans, Macedonians and Palestinians were among the crowd.

They gathered at a site called Kizilcubuk in Turkey’s northeast province of Kars, the beginning point of the Sarikamis operation, which aimed at defeating the Russian Caucasus Army.

The crowd, gathering under the “Turkey’s Martyrs Walk” in cold weather conditions with temperature around -10C, walked the same 8.5 kilometers (5 miles) long route that Turkish soldiers used during the World War I.

A military maneuver during the war went terribly wrong and trapped a 90,000-strong army branch in freezing wintry cold in the district of Sarikamis during the December 1914-January 1915 campaign.

Turkey’s Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek, Interior Minister Efkan Ala, Youth and Sports Minister Akif Cagatay Kilic and Kars Governor Gunay Ozdemir attended the ceremony, accompanied by numerous military officials.

Speaking to the press, Speaker Cicek pointed out the importance of honoring the memory of martyrs.

“This kind of ceremonies should strengthen our unity and solidarity,” said Cicek.

Urging citizens to avoid hate speech, Cicek said: “Maybe then our martyrs would rest in peace.”

Copyright © 2015 Anadolu Agency