Turks wait for their dead sons’ bodies
Turkish family living in Belgium has been waiting over a year to take home the remains of their two murdered sons from a morgue in Meulebeke, Belgium, because a prosecutor refuses to hand them over. AA photoTurkish family living in Belgium has been waiting over a year to take home the remains of their two murdered sons from a morgue in Meulebeke, Belgium, because a prosecutor refuses to hand them over.
“It has been 468 days. Their autopsies are done and their killers are known. Will the prosecutor make my sons talk? Where are the human rights?” asked 63-year-old father Vahit Aygün. The father said Kortrijk district attorney Marc Allegaert had refused to hand over the bodies on the grounds that the case had yet to be closed, Anatolia news agency reported. The prosecutor said the family could bury their sons in a Muslim cemetery in Belgium but would not allow the bodies to be taken out of the country, diplomatic sources told the Hürriyet Daily News on Dec. 30. The family, however, wants the sons to be buried in Turkey.
Aygün said he met with the Belgian justice minister and went to Ankara to speak with authorities in the Turkish Parliament. Although Turkish officials reportedly told him they would try and do as much as possible, the family has still not been able to retrieve the bodies. Turkish authorities have kept the issue alive on the diplomatic agenda of bilateral ties, with Turkish officials raising the issue at every meeting with Belgian authorities. Turkey’s prime minister and foreign minister have brought the issue to the agenda during talks with Belgium counterparts, but these initiatives have yet to bear fruit. The family complained they could not bury their sons or hold a funeral and also had enormous, mounting debts due to the high charges they will have to pay to the morgue once they finally retrieve the bodies. “I have spoken to whomever I could. I wrote a letter even to the Belgian king, but I could not reach this one prosecutor. The morgue charges me 140 euros for each day my sons stay there,” Vahit Aygün said. Aygün said he and his wife had lost their health due to the financial and psychological problems resulting from the situation and that their debts to the morgue and the lawyer’s bill now totaled 100,000 euros. “Would the prosecutor do the same thing to a Belgian?” asked the deceased’s mother, Naciye Aygün.