Monument to Turkish Soldiers To Be Built in Sevastopol

Turkish diplomats think, the monument is important to develop cooperation with the city

It has been recently reported that the authorities of the Russian city of Kostroma decided to take down the monument to Ivan Susanin (the national hero, who heroically died about 390 years ago). Now it goes about Sevastopol - the city which is closely connected with the Russian history.

Last week, the municipal council of Sevastopol decided to assign a plot of land for the construction of the monument in honor of Turkish soldiers who had been killed in the siege of the city during the Crimean War (1853-1856). The Podrobnosty website reported, the monument would be built under the guidance of the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers' committee for victims of political repression within the scope of arrangements to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Crimean War (or the Eastern War) next year.

The deputies of the municipal council did not support the suggestion from the city's administration to build the monument on Sapun Mountain. They believe that the mountain is the symbol  of courage and heroism of Sevastopol's defenders and liberators. That is why, they believe, it is impossible to place a monument to Turkish soldiers there.

The land for the monument has been assigned in a different location. The monument will be built on the outskirts of the settlement of Dergachy - 300 meters far from the site where the Turkish soldiers had been buried. It is worth mentioning that the debate about the monument in Sevastopol has been continuing for more than one year already. The issue was discussed in 1997 and in 1999. However, the deputies of the municipal council rejected the idea of the memorial complex at that time.

Yet, the city administration of Sevastopol has always supported the endeavor. Leonid Zhunko, city administration chairman, had a meeting with the Turkish ambassador in October of the last year. Leonid Zhunko said that the deputies of the municipal council had made a wrong decision when they objected against the construction of the monument to Turkish soldiers. Zhunko said, the decision had not added the international authority to Ukraine. The official believes, such intractability was an obstacle for Sevastopol to obtain "modern efficient technologies from Turkey." Turkey has linked the question of cooperation with the monument on many occasions. Eventually, Turkish diplomats stated that high-ranking officials of the country would probably not participate in major celebrations of the above-mentioned 150th anniversary. The celebration is to take place in Sevastopol and in the Crimea in 2004. One shall assume, the obstacle has been removed now.

Author`s name Olga Savka