3 Mayıs 2012 Perşembe

In Search of Old Warriors

çanakkale links to related article

(Cumhurriyet Newspaper, 30 April 2012)

Sema Inanç, an eleventh grade student at Berger Feld school in
Gelsenkirchen city in Germany, got hold of information to the
effect that the grave of a German soldier named Rudolf Bettaque,
who died during the Battle of Çanakkale in 1916, was located
in the German Military Cemetary in Tarabya, Istanbul. Inanç
was part of a history study group at her school and last
December she contacted the family of Bettaque in Hamburg.
They hadn't had any information about him for 96 years.

Inanç's sister school in Büyükçekmece, Istanbul, invited the
nephew of  the fallen German soldier to come to Istanbul.
Rolf Bettaque came and placed flowers on the grave of his
uncle Rudolf.  Rolf said that he had long sought his uncle's
resting place and then 'one day my phone rang and a Turkish
girl said that she had found my uncle's grave. We are very
grateful to this young girl because she brought such joy to

Rolf Bettaque was quite touched being at the grave of his
uncle and his words were very emotional: 'Hello uncle.
I've come. I've been searching for you for a long time and
miraculously we've found you.'

sarıkamış links to related article

(Radikal Newspaper, 27 April 2012)

Ottoman soldier Mehmet Fuad Tokad wrote his experiences
down in a two tiny notebooks and hid them away in a
matchbox during the First World War. Tokad's memoirs
have been translated from Ottoman into Turkish by Turkolog
Jack Snowden, who toured the martyrs' cemeteries and the
sites of Russian-era prison camps in Sarıkamış.

Snowden came first to Erzurum and then to Sarıkamış to
see first-hand the places mentioned in the diaries, which
have been published as a book, entitled 'Matchbox Diaries
of Sarıkamış and Siberia'. He stated that 'we published the
book a year and a half ago. It contains the memoirs of
War Academy student Mehmet Fuad Tokad from his
departure from Istanbul on 8 January 1915 to 19 March

Snowden noted that Tokad had been taken prisoner by
Cossacks in February 1916 and brought to Sarıkamış.
Continuing, he said that 'after staying in a prison camp
here for two months he was taken by train to Vetluga
prison camp in Siberia. Two and a half years later he
was released. He returned to Istanbul and served as a
senior engineer in PTT for 35 years. His memoirs are
preserved in this little matchbox.'

After serving at the American Embassy, Snowden retired
and began work on translating the diaries upon marrying
Mehmet Fuad Tokad's granddaughter Müge Tokad
in 2008.

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