FOR DECADES, the graves of Turkish soldiers killed during World War I have been scattered around Nitra, where a former army field hospital was located during the war.
Now the Turkish Embassy in Slovakia has officially requested that the graves be concentrated in the town’s main cemetery, the SITA newswire wrote.
Nitra’s deputy mayor, Štefan Štefek, said Turkish officials are visiting the town to discuss restoring 28 graves that were destroyed in the 1970s. The embassy also plans to finance the construction of a monument to the soldiers.
The Nitra Town Cemetery contains the graves of 25 Turkish soldiers. Three more are buried at the military cemetery in Nitra-Mlynárce, which contains the remains of 450 soldiers of 12 nationalities.
“Concentrating all the fallen Turkish soldiers here would require making the cemetery more compact because we’re not considering enlarging it,” Štefek said.
The town is drafting a letter to the embassies of all the countries whose soldiers remains are in Nitra informing them of the plan to restore the cemetery and requesting financial support, he said.
Nitra has the most Turkish graves in Slovakia.
Trenčín-Kubra has 18, Košice has three, and there is one each in Ružomberok, Levoča, Oponice, Martin and Trenčianska Teplá.
20. Oct 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Jana Liptáková from press reports