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Funerals in Turkey: A guide to Burial, Paperwork and Funeral Traditions

Death is a part of life. It’s a natural process that we can’t avoid, dying in Turkey or losing your loved one may come as a shock to you.

In this blog post, you’ll find everything you need to know about death, paperwork, and Funerals in Turkey so you can plan accordingly.

Funerals in Turkey Death in Turkey

Dying at home in Turkey

If a person dies in Turkey, in-home, the number 188 which is the number of burial affairs.

A forensic doctor will verify whether the death was natural or not.

The body must not be touched until the forensic doctor arrives

If the death was natural, he will give the family of the deceased a death report, and then the municipality will transfer him to the cemetery, where the burial affairs are completed there.

If the death was unnatural, the body will be referred to the forensic medicine department and the police department will be involved to investigate the reason for death.

İf you suspect unnatural death or murder as a reason for the death you should call the police immediately on 155.

Dying in a hospital in Turkey

If someone dies in Turkey in a hospital, his family must obtain a death report and then request a mortuary transport vehicle from the municipality to be transported to the cemetery.

Read also: Pharmacies in Turkey.. everything you need to know

The hospital will take care of the paperwork. İf the family wants the remains to be transferred outside of Turkey they will have to let the hospital know.

About Funerals in Turkey

Your loved one is gone, but funeral traditions are still observed. You will have to decide whether the funeral is going to be held in Turkey or the remains will be transported to another country.

As Turkey is a Muslim majority country the funerals are held after funeral prayers in the mosque.

Funeral Tradition in Turkey

Turkish people believe that this life is only a trial for the afterlife. Depending on how well you lived will determine if your soul goes to cennet or cehennem respectively.

Every soul will taste death and you will be paid in full only on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever is kept away from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have triumphed. The present world is only an illusory pleasure:

Quran (3:185)

The body of the dead is washed three times, and covered in white sheets. According to a set of funeral rituals their eyes and mouth are closed for privacy during this time period before friends or family can view them while accepting condolences from others who may not know what happened yet themselves

Die happily and look forward to taking up a new and better form. Like the sun, only when you set in the west can you rise in the east.

Rumi

Money is given to the poor, the Quran is recited by family and friends.

Funerals in the Muslim faith aren’t too extravagant or gloomy. Instead, they’re meditative practices filled with peace and tranquility. The memorials to the departed are plain in design. 

Types of cemeteries in Turkey

There are two types of cemeteries in Turkey:

Paid: It undertakes several services (washing, shrouding, digging the grave, supervision by a Turkish religious scholar, and giving a grave number).

In Istanbul, the price of graves ranges from 1500 to 25000 liras the price varies from state to state.

Free: İt’s a grave provided by the government for the unidentified, the poor, and the drowned. You can find it in all Turkish states.

cemeteries in Turkey

Death certificate in Turkey

Death certficate in Turkey is called “ölüm belgesi”.

How to get a death certificate?

(1) If the death took place in official health institutions or the funeral was brought to the official health institution, the death certificate is issued by the health institution and approved by the director or chief physician of the institution.

(2) If the death occurred in private health institutions, if there is a death certificate issued by the treating physician during the illness that caused the death, this certificate shall be valid provided that it is approved by the municipal doctor, physician or, if not, by the community health center physician or family physician. Certification can also be done electronically.

(3) In case the death occurs outside of health institutions, the death certificate is given by the municipality doctor in the place where the funeral is located, by the family doctor if there is no community health center doctor in places where there is no municipal doctor, and by the death certificate issuing authority in the absence of them.

(4) In places where there is no death certificate issuing authority or where it cannot be reached within a reasonable time, this certificate is given by the gendarmerie station commanders or village headmen.

Documents required for the death certificate in Turkey

While issuing the death certificate, the necessary examination and research is carried out regarding the identity of the deceased.

In this context, the relatives of the deceased are asked to show the original identity card of the deceased to the authorities who issued the death certificate.

If the identity card/identity card of the deceased cannot be found, the name, surname and T.C. of the deceased person are from the relatives of the deceased.

A written statement of the identification number is requested. Name, surname and T.C. of the deceased person’s relatives.

Except for the written declaration of the identity number, no other document related to the identity information is required.

How to transfer deceased outside of Turkey?

If the relatives of the deceased want to transfer the body of the deceased outside Turkey, they can apply to the “Mezarlıklar Daire başkanlığı” ” funeral department” in the state in which they reside, and then the document will be translated into the language of the deceased person’s country and the death will be registered at the consulate, and obtain permission to transfer from the consulate.

The death certificate must be sent to the “Health Director in the relevant governorate, the burial office, the airport customs, the General Directorate of Civil Status and a copy for the families of the deceased.”

The process of transporting the body of the deceased from Turkey also requires a certified forensic report, a certificate that the body is free of communicable diseases, embalming the body and sealing the coffin in which it is transported tightly with red wax and sealing it with the consulate seal in the presence of the person in charge of consular affairs in the diplomatic mission.

Non-Muslim Funerals in Turkey

Most major cities have non-Muslim cemeteries or parts of Muslim cemeteries.

If the deceased is Christian and if the family wishes for a Christian funeral and burial in Turkey, one of the following churches should be contacted depending on the Christian faith of the deceased.

  1. Anglican Church
  2. Autocephalous Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate
  3. Armenian Apostolic Church
  4. Greek Orthodox Church
  5. Catholic Church
  6. Evangelical churches
  7. Syriac Orthodox Church
  8. Church of the East
  9. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

For Jews, there is a lot of synagogue in many Turkish cities that you can visit and ask a Rabai for Jewish religious burial in Turkey.

is there a crematorium in Turkey?

Turkey has no cremation facilities since cremation is against the law.

Can I bring the ashes of a deceased to Turkey?

If the deceased is a Turkish national, the ashes may be transported to Turkey. Permission will be given after the ashes have been examined and determined to be non-hazardous and genuine.

English speaking Funeral services in Turkey

Ankara

NameAddressTelephoneEmailEnglish speaking staffInternational repatriation
DOLUNAY FUNERAL SERVICESBahcelievler Mahallesi Bahriye Ucok Caddesi 3/3 Besevler / Cankaya Ankara TURKEYCall Center : 0090 312 432 54 32; Fax: 0090 312 435 84 35[email protected]English speaking staffworldwide

Antalya

NameAddressTelephoneEmailEnglish speaking staffInternational repatriation
ANTALYA ASSISTANCETahilpazari Mah. A. Menderes Blv. Gazihan No: 19/21 07040 Antalya TURKEYCall Center: 0090 242 243 62 19; Fax: 0090 242 248 77 24[email protected]English speaking staffworldwide
HIZIR INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCEArapsuyu Mah. 603 Sk. Deniz Apt. No:6/A Konyaalti 07070 Antalya, TURKEYCall center: 0090 242 237 20 30; Fax: 0090 237 67 15; Mobile: 0090 544 544 544 0[email protected]English speaking staffworldwide

Istanbul

NameAddressTelephoneEmailEnglish speaking staffInternational repatriation
BERCKAC ORGANISATIONIstiklal Cad. Tokatliyan Is Hani No: 126/30-36 Galatasaray Istanbul, TURKEYTel: 0090 212 252 85 55; Emergency : 0090 532 473 82 57 or 0090 532 431 83 33[email protected]English speaking staffworldwide
ISTANBUL FUNERAL SERVICESYali Mah. Istasyon Sok. No:1 Maltepe Istanbul, TURKEYTel: 0090 212 231 11 44[email protected]English speaking staffworldwide
VAHAN CIVANYAN FUNERAL SERVICESKurtulus Cad. No:67 D:5 Sisli Duatepe 34400 Istanbul, TURKEYTel: 0090 212 232 57 01; Emergency: 0090 536 323 48 48[email protected]English speaking staffworldwide