Prisoners of Pleven lies in the Turkish Martyrdom in Latvia
Despite the propaganda of the anti-Ottoman Russians, the Estonian people have established friendly relations with the captured Turks and helped with food and clothing.
The Turkish, Latvian and Estonian people got to know each other during the Ottoman-Russian war in 1877-1878. The Turkish captives in the hands of the Russian army in Pleven were sent to Rakvere which is 98 km away from Tallin and to Parnu, 128 km away, which is in the borders of Estonia today. The first human contact between the Turks and the Estons took place in this way by the Estonian locals and the Turkish war captives. Despite the propaganda of the anti-Ottoman Russians, the Estonian people have established friendly relations with the captured Turks and helped with food and clothing.
Other part of the war captives were sent to, the city of Cesis, another Baltic state 90 km away from the capital of Latvia, Riga. The captives sent here have lost their lives after a while because of the wounds and the diseases they caught. The Turkish captives that died here have been buried into the cemetery in Cesis.
In 1937, with the initiative of Turkey`s ambassador for the Baltic states, the cemetery was transformed into a mausoleum. In the existing records there are 26 but it is predicted that there are more martyrs in the cemetery. For each grave there is a stone with crescent and star on it.
The martyrdom has undergone a significant restoration and officially reopened on 15th September 2005 with a ceremony which Vecdi Gönül, National Defence Minister, contributed.
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