Volkstrauertag: German National Day of Remembrance ceremony in Istanbul

Volkstrauertag, the German National Day of Remembrance ceremony in Istanbul on 17 November 2019.

The German Military Cemetery overlooking the Bosporus is the perennial setting for this commemoration ceremony, hosted by the German Consul General, Michael Reiffensteul. Among the 80 guests were the Lord Mayor of Sariyer, the British Consul General, the General Officer Commanding I Turkish Army Corps, as well as - all in their different uniforms - officers and men and their families from NATO forces stationed in Turkey.

The commemoration address was given by Consul General Reiffenstuel, dedicated to the fallen of all sides as well as all victims of oppression. The main wreaths were marched on by soldiers of the Turkish and German armies, and the national anthems of both nations were played. This was then followed by more wreaths being laid with Tom Iredale laying the final wreath on behalf of the Gallipoli Association. The ceremony concluded with the Last Post being played by a trumpeter from the Turkish Army.

The guests were then able to take a walk around the terraces of the cemetery, the gravestones of which had been specially cleaned the week previously by GA member Klaus Wolf and his men. The afternoon concluded with a reception in the grounds of the summer residence of the German Ambassador.

Lest we forget!