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Turkish mayor built martyrs’ cemetery ‘just in case’ someone from town martyred

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A Turkish mayor ordered the establishment of a martyrs’ cemetery in a town in northern Gümüşhane province in the event some youths from the town were killed in battle, the Sözcü daily reported.

According to the report, seven soldiers from Köse have died in operations, but they were buried in a public cemetery.

“We built it just in case a martyr’s body were to come to our town. God forbid, but we still built it in the event any of our townspeople might be martyred,” Köse Mayor Şerif Aygün said.

The martyrs’ cemetery can accommodate the remains of 12 soldiers.

“This is not Gallipoli, so of course there won’t be 250,000 martyrs,” he added, referring to the Battle of Çanakkale during World War I, in which Ottoman forces had repulsed British and French troops but lost hundreds of thousands soldiers.

The municipality paid around TL 200,000 ($36,000) for the cemetery, which now only contains photographs of the seven martyrs who were born and raised in the town.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently has given several speeches praising martyrdom as the Turkish army has become more active in northern Syria and Iraq against Kurdish militants.

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