04:00 GMT13 May 2021
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    The Turkish government has agreed to restore the historic San Stefano Russian monument in Istanbul, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

    According to the newspaper, the Turkish parliament's national defense commission said it would build the monument to commemorate fallen Russian soldiers in return for the construction of five similar monuments in Russia.

    The agreement was initially discussed in 2012 and now it would be brought back up at the Turkish parliament. According to the 2012 document, the two countries decided to honor soldiers who died during historic wars on each other's soil.

    The San Stefano monument in Istanbul was initially built at the end of the 19th Century to commemorate 15,000 Russian soldiers who died on Turkish soil during the 1877-1878 Russo-Ottoman war.

    However, in 1914 Turkey decided to demolish the monument, calling it a "national shame," according to the source.

    The demolition of the Russian commemorative monument in San Stefano in November 1914
    © Wikipedia / Fuat Uzkınay
    The demolition of the Russian commemorative monument in San Stefano in November 1914

    Hurriyet also informed that a special joint commission will be set up discover soldiers' grave sites in both Turkey and Russia and to help oversee the application of the 2012 treaty.

    Relations between Moscow and Ankara have been strained after the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian bomber above Syria in November 2015, resulting in the death of a Russian pilot. Will the mutual agreement to commemorate each other's soldiers be the first step to warm relations between the two countries?


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    historical monuments, soldiers, Russo-Turkish war, Turkey, Russia, Istanbul
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