Cemevi debate rises as Alevi prisoner struggles to attend father’s funeral
BALIKESİR – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoAn imprisoned man has endured two days of Kafkaesque adversity to attend the funeral of his father at an Alevi worshipping house in the western province of Balıkesir. The procedural struggle occurred because cemevis are not officially recognized in Turkish law as places of worship.
The funeral of Kemal Divrikli was ultimately held with the attendance of his son Doğan Divrikli on June 16, in the Altınoluk Cemevi.
The prisoner’s sister, Derya Divrikli Gül, who lives in Istanbul, said getting the official permit for her brother to attend the funeral took two an unprecedented two days. She claimed that prison officials made the process more complicated despite the fact that Doğan Divrikli had an official permit.
Kemal Divrikli, 59, died after being hit by a motorbike while attempting to save a turtle walking in the middle of a road in Balıkesir on June 7.
“What really makes us sad is the distress experienced by the family of a man who lost his life to save a turtle’s and saved four people’s lives with his organs transplanted. We would not have had such a difficult time if the funeral ceremony had been held in a mosque rather than a cemevi. The mosque is recognized as a place of worship but the cemevi is not. Necessary amendments should be made on this,” Derya Divrikli Gül said.
Divrikli was diagnosed with a celebral hemorrhage after he was taken to the Edremit State Hospital. He was treated in an intensive care unit but he was declared brain-dead on June 15.
His family decided to donate Divrikli’s organs, and his lungs, liver, kidneys and cornea saved four people’s lives after doctors conducted organ transplants.