Meiktila War Cemetery

— / Meiktila Türk Şehitliği

Located in Meiktila, the Meiktila War Cemetery is one of the two memorial burial grounds of Ottoman soldiers in Burma (Myanmar).

During World War I, around twelve thousand soldiers of the Ottoman Army fell into the hand of British Forces, during the Sinai, Palestine and Mesopotamian campaigns. The Ottomn prisoners of war were transferred to Burma, which was then under British rule, and were forced to work in the construction of railroads, bridges and artificial lakes. More than 800 soldiers died as a result of epidemics, hard physical labor conditions and cruel treatment. It is not known how many of the Ottoman prisoners in Burma were able to return home.

The cemetery in Meiktila is the most devastated one of the two Turkish military memorials in Myanmar. Currently, it is in state of an empty field and its exact location is unknown. The stone walls of the cemetery and some gravestones were plundered during and after the World War II. Around 180-190 gravestones are preserved so far, after Muslim residents in the area removed and carried them to a nearby mosque’s yard.

Turkish government’s initiatives for its reconstruction since 1965 accomplished finally in 2012 with granting of the required permission. The works, commissioned by the Military Cemeteries and Memorials Department, began on January 29, 2013.

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