A statue made out of snow, erected in memory of the 60,000 Turkish soldiers who froze to death in World War I in the Sarıkamış district of the eastern province of Kars, was unveiled with an official ceremony on Jan. 8 with the attendance of some ministers.
The statue, called “Those that have blanketed themselves with snow,” was sculptured with the efforts of eight artists in 10 days. Some 200 truckloads of snow were used in the sculpturing.
“We are here in Sarıkamış to pay our debt to the memory of our martyrs,” Family and Social Services Minister Derya Yanık said in a ceremony marking the 107th anniversary of the Sarıkamış tragedy.
Between Dec. 15 and 22, 1914, some 78,000 Turkish soldiers lost their lives in the battle to regain Kars province from Russian forces, with some 60,000 having frozen to death in the Allahuekber Mountains close to Sarıkamış.
“We will keep on commemorating our grandfathers’ spirituality and will not forget this,” Yanık continued.
Sports and Youth Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu addressed new generations in his speech at the unveiling of the statue. “We are the siblings of a strong civilization. We will carry the strong roots we took from our ancestors to the youth,” he said.
Hurriyet Daily News