The Meiktila War Cemetery is one of the two memorial burial grounds of Ottoman soldiers in Burma (Myanmar). It is situated in Meiktila, Meiktila District of central Mandalay Region. Ottoman soldiers are buried in the cemetery, who died after they became prisoner of war in the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I and were sent by British Armed Forces to a labor camp in this country.
|Type||Turkish military of WWI|
Around twelve thousand soldiers of the Ottoman Army fell into the hands of British Forces during the Sinai, Palestine and Mesopotamian campaigns in the World War I. The Ottoman prisoners of war were transferred to Burma, which was then under British rule. The POW's were forced to work in the construction of railroad, bridge and artificial lake. 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 POW's 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 (Turkish: Şehitlikler ve Anıtlar Şubesi) of the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, began on January 29, 2013.
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