I'm also a Maltese and am sorry to say that Malti
is wrong about the Turkish burials in a cemetery outside Fort Verdala. What he has shown and is referring to is what remains of the former Rock Gate Cemetery, opened around 1802 by the British for their soldiers and later including burials of their dependents. By 1865/66, it was full and both the Secretary to the Governor and the Superintendent of Police barred any further burials there for health reasons.
When King George V celebrated his Diamond Jubilee, the ditches between the fortifications were converted into a wider road that linked the Three Cities to Zabbar Gate. Rock Gate was demolished and the cemetery reduced to the walled up section Malti
mentions. Most salvageable headstones were fixed around the internal perimeter walls. Time and then the Axis bombings during WWII continued to deteriorate the place and by 1956, not much was left of it.
The Turkish Military Cemetery at Marsa was built in Muslim architectural style in 1874 and designed by the renowned Maltese architect Emanuel L. Galizia, whom the Turkish Sultan Abdul Aziz presented with the Order of the Mejidie when then visiting Malta. Remains from an earlier cemetery known as Tat-Torok
(of the Turks) were taken to the new cemetery. Records show that in March 1928 in the new cemetery were 103 unidentified Muslims burials, including 24 who died in the sinking of SS Sardegna
. There are also 23 Turkish prisoners of war who died in Malta as well as six British and six French burials, probably being Muslims.
With regards to Turkish and Ottoman POWs in Malta during WWI, the officers were actually retained at St. Clements’s Retrenchment just outside Fort Verdala, now a school. Other Ranks of mixed nationalities like Turks, German, Austrian, Egyptian, Greeks and other Balkans were kept within Fort Verdala and Polverista Barracks. Some of the German POWs were the crew of the German surface raider Emden
. One of the officers was Lieutenant Prince Franz Josef von Hohenzollern of the German Royal Family. Another officer was Karl Dö
nitz who later became Grossadmiral
, Commander in Chief of the Kriegsmarine
As to the case of Major Haj Ali Issa, there are a number of accounts. One states that Major Haj Ali Issa, Turkish Army, from Aleppo, Mesopotamia and aged 40 years, was executed on 24th April 1917 at the Military Detention Barracks, Corradino. He was a Prisoner of War. Dr. Nedjet Saadi, another POW belonged to the Young Turk party, with whom Major Issa didn’t get along as he was a supporter of the Old Faction and with whom he frequently quarreled. On the morning of 17th October 1916 Dr. Saadi was due to leave Malta for Egypt. During an encounter around 6:00am, Major Issa pulled out a knife and stabbed Dr. Saadi, and although medical help was quickly given by Major Lund RAMC, his life could not be saved. Major Issa stood trial in front of H.M. Criminal Court on 16th April 1917, accused of the willful murder of Dr. Saadi. After three days of evidence the Jury unanimously found him guilty of the murder and he was sentenced to death.
Another version states that Saadi was the owner of a pet monkey. He had attempted to assassinate Major Isa, his political opponent but instead was murdered by his intended victim. Major Isa was convicted and despite local outrage, was hanged in Corradino Military Prison in April 1917.
Other material on the Turkish prisoners in Malta can be found here:http://www.tallarmeniantale.com/malta-details.htm
(Photo titled The Malta Prison is in fact the grand portal of the Turkish Military Cemetery, Marsa)http://www.ataa.org/reference/deportees_ozer.htmlhttp://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/vi ... and.391618http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/vi ... r-I.382161http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp? ... mid=142111
I hope that you’ll find all of interest.Saħħa
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