Turkish army chief hails Sarikamis martyrs on 99th anniversary

Turkey's Chief of Staff Necdet Ozel praised the martyrs' superior courage as Turkey marks the death of thousands of Ottoman soldiers in a First World War tragedy.

Turkish army chief hails Sarikamis martyrs on 99th anniversary

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish Chief of General Staff Necdet Ozel praised the valor and loyalty of Sarikamis martyrs on Wednesday, as Turkey prepares to commemorate thousands of soldiers tragically martyred in 1914-1915 in Turkey's north with various events across the country.

An estimated 60-80,000 soldiers died when a military maneuver during the First World War went terribly wrong, trapping a 90,000-strong army branch in the freezing winter cold in the district of Sarikamis in a December 1914-January 1915 campaign.

"These heroes who defied death to obey orders will continue to be remembered with respect and gratitude," Ozel said in his message.

"The legend which our mighty martyrs wrote, displaying superior courage and resilience even appreciated by their enemies, remains in our memories as a sad but proud lesson."

Among the events to mark the occasion is a cycling tour organized by the Turkish Cycling Federation (TCF).

The TCF has given the start of the tour with a ceremony held around the Republic Monument in Taksim, where athletes from the Istanbul Youth and Sports Club, Kocaeli Barissa Sport Club, Konya Torku Sugar Sports Club, and Rivamad Sports Club began pedaling.

They will travel 1,856 kilometers and tour 17 provinces, finishing in Kars where Sarikamis is located.

In another event, nearly two thousand people gathered to remember Sarikamis martyrs in Turkey's northeastern in Rize, in a rally attended by local authorities, soldiers, students, and NGO representatives alike.

Last Mod: 26 Aralık 2013, 12:59
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