Thayet War Cemetery

— / Thayetmyo Türk Şehitliği

Located in Thayet, the Thayet 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 1500 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, around 220 prisoners are buried here in Thayet. Most of the burials in the cemetery are fallen in 1916 as seen on the gravestones.

“Birinci Dünya Savaşı’nda Irak, Suriye, Filistin ve Arabistan cephelerinde Osmanlı ve İngiliz Orduları arasındaki çarpışmalar sırasında İngilizlere tutsak düşerek Burma’ya getirilen ve burada şehit düşen aziz Türk askerlerinin anısına”

An inscription at the cemetery denotes the memorial in Burmese and Turkish (above).

The cemetery was many years long in a state of neglect. Turkish government’s initiatives for maintenance since 1965 accomplished finally in 2012 with granting of the required permission. The maintenance works, commissioned by the Military Cemeteries and Memorials Department, began on January 27, 2013.

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