Our non-Muslim martyrs
The names of unsung heroes, which lie engraved on the headstones of those who died for the Turkish State, may be unfamiliar to Turkish people: Agop, Artin, Bedros, Jojen, Panayot, Yorgi, Nikola, Konstantin, Mihail and Dimitri. However, this list of names represents the non-Muslim soldiers, who, although born of different years died on the same date, while fighting in 1915 at Çanakkale. Their name-tags have now been documented in a six-volume book entitled, “Our Martyrs” published by the General staff. One can now visit the star and crescent gravestones at Çanakkale.
Without a doubt, the most striking part is Captain Dimitroyati, the regiment doctor’s words to Ali Çavuş, whom he fought alongside...
Captain Dimitroyati was shot in the last days of the mortal struggle at the battle of Çanakkale. Being a doctor, it did not take him long to realize he was about to die. The Captain turned to Ali Çavuş, and said: “Listen Ali Çavuş, upon my death, they may call me a non-believer and try to bury me somewhere else. Don’t you dare allow them to separate me from you.”
Unfortunately, Ali Çavuş was soon shot and taken to a hospital tent. Forgetting his pain, he went about trying to fulfil his friend’s last wishes. He told the medic who was standing by his side of Captain Dimitroyati’s dying wish, and made sure that this request was passed on to the command headquarters, as he drew one last breath.
This striking incident is described in Kemal Demirel’s, ‘The five days of Anafartalar’. Captain Dimitroyati is just one of the names of the non-Muslim ‘martyrs’ that died in Çanakkale that year.