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Recognition for Haidar Pasha

23 April 2015

Istanbul - On 23 April, the eve of the Centenary of the Gallipoli campaign, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is urging more people to visit a historic cemetery in the heart of Istanbul - the final resting place of more than 6,000 servicemen from the Crimean and Two World Wars.

Haidar Pasha Cemetery (local spelling Haydar Pasha) was first established at the suggestion of Florence Nightingale, whose hospital for servicemen wounded during the Crimean War (1853-56), was in nearby Selimiye Barracks (Scutari).

For the first time, on 23 April, the CWGC is hosting a joint British, Commonwealth and German remembrance event at the cemetery - which members of the public are welcome to attend. The ceremony will be held at 3.30 pm local time and will be attended by representatives from the CWGC, the British Consulate in Istanbul and the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge (German War Graves Commission).

Malcolm Ross, CWGC Mediterranean Area Horticultural Manager, will host the event. He said: 'Haidar Pasha Cemetery is an extraordinary piece of commemorative history right at the heart of Istanbul, but it remains relatively unknown and unvisited. The CWGC wants to change that and we hope this event will be the spark to bring many more visitors to the cemetery."

"Some will come to pay tribute to a relative, some to pay tribute to soldiers who died for their country, others merely out of curiosity. But all who visit will depart the better for the experience - inspired by the young men who lie here, cared for and remembered by the CWGC in this special place."

As part of the commemorations, the CWGC will also unveil a new information panel at the site. The panel is among 500 that the Commission is installing as part of a drive to provide more information for the public during the centenary of the First World War. Each panel carries information about the cemetery or memorial, and a QR Code which, when scanned with a smartphone, reveals the personal stories of some of the casualties buried or commemorated at the location.    

Full press release