Dispute Between Russia And Poland Over Discovery Of Czarist Officer’s Corpse In Turkey

AncientPages.com - The discovery of Czarist officer's corpse in Turkey has led to a dispute between Russia and Poland. Both countries claim the body and Turkey is busy trying to solve the issue without creating a problem between the two countries.

There are ongoing speculations about the officer’s identity and military rank and both Poland and Russia present solid arguments that should give them right to claim the unearthed body.

Meanwhile, the corpse has been safeguarded in the Kars museum.

Dispute Between Russia And Poland Over Discovery Of Czarist Officer's Corpse In Turkey

Credit: IHA 

The corpse was largely decomposed, but the man’s military uniform and beard remained intact.

“The casket was discovered in April 2017, during excavations to lay the foundation of a new building in Ardahan, a northeastern city once occupied by Russians before it was annexed to modern-day Turkey.

The deceased soldier was identified as the Polish-born Lieutenant Colonel Karl Karlovich Rjepetski from First Caucasus Army Corps' 20th Infantry Division, who died from illness in 1894.

Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş told the Turkish parliament this week that Poland wants to give the body a proper funeral and burial, since the Rjepetski was born there and has descendants.” Daily Sabah reports.

However, according to Kurtulmuş, Russia objects stating that there was no Poland at the time. This means, according to Russia that the man is their citizen and the corpse should be transported to his home country and be buried in a graveyard in a Christian village in Ardahan.

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According to Daily Sabah, “Rjepetski's family was from the Volynskyi region in the western part of Ukraine. He was trained in infantry military school in Warsaw. It is believed that his wife and two daughters lived in Tbilisi, Grodno and Moscow after his death.

At the time of his death, the funeral for Rjepetski, who was Catholic, was carried out by the Armenian Church because Ardahan lacked a Catholic church. The death certificate states he died of brain hemorrhage.”

Which country has the right to claim the body of Polish-born Lieutenant Colonel Karl Karlovich Rjepetski?

It seems it will take some time before an agreement can be reached between the two countries.