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Turkey to commemorate fallen WWI soldiers in Sarikamis

At least 250 mountaineers will make difficult climb in northeastern province of Kars

The head of Turkish Mountaineering Federation Ersan Basar said that this year’s climb would be held between Dec. 23 and 25 in Sarikamis, a district in Turkey’s northeastern province of Kars.

“The traditional Sarikamis Martyrs Memorial Climb will be held in Allahuekber Mountains with the participation of 250 mountaineers,” Basar said.

The event marks the 102nd anniversary of the Sarikamis operation, during which around 90,000 Turkish soldiers froze to death in 1914.

A military maneuver during the war went terribly wrong and trapped a 90,000-strong army branch in freezing wintry cold in the district of Sarikamis during the December 1914-January 1915 campaign.

Basar said: “The weather conditions are the same, there are temperatures of -30C. Of course it is not possible for us to have same feelings but we will try to live those moments as much as we can and we will mourn for them.”

He added that the 250 climbers would camp on the mountain. “The climb will take three days,” he said, adding the crowd will follow the route Turkish soldiers used during the World War I.

“We will dedicate the climb to all our citizens who died during recent terror attacks and July 15 coup attempt,” he said.

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