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RIGHTS > Urfa Jews’ cemetery demand disapproved

ŞANLIURFA

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The Jewish cemetery in Ulus district of Istanbul
is seen in this file photo. Hürriyet photo

The Jewish cemetery in Ulus district of Istanbul is seen in this file photo. Hürriyet photo

Şanlıurfa Municipality has rejected an appeal from a Jewish citizen requesting a cemetery for Jews in the city. “No proceedings have started based on the current appeal,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Eyüp Badem, a Jewish citizen living in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, appealed to Şanlıurfa Municipality for the creation a separate cemetery for the city’s Jewish community, Daily Taraf reported yesterday. The municipality, however, rejected the demand, saying that “allocating a separate cemetery for Jewish citizens is not possible.” Following the municipality’s decision, Badem wrote a letter to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan about the issue. The letter he received in response, dated Jan.

24, 2012 and signed by the Prime Minister’s Office’s Public Relations Department Chair A. İhsan Sarıkoca, also rejected his appeal. “Upon examining your request, it was found that you had made this request previously and the relevant authorities gave their answer. Consequently new proceedings have not been started for your current appeal,” the letter read.

On April 8, 2011, the Şanlıurfa Municipality Parks Directorate’s Cemeteries Department issued a letter responding to the matter, signed by Deputy Mayor Mahmut Kırıkçı. “Allocating a separate, individual cemetery for Jewish citizens is not possible according to the regulations regarding cemetery buildings and procedures of transfer and burial. However, there is no legislation or rule restricting the burials of Jewish citizens in our existing cemetery. Everyone is buried in the present cemetery, regardless of differences in religion, race, or sex. Our municipality helps everyone with the burial procedures, without regard to these differences. Of course we provide services to our Jewish citizens. But our municipality does not provide any religious funeral rituals; these are conducted by the families of the deceased,” the letter read.

53 secret Jewish families

“There are about 53 families who are hiding their Jewish identity in Şanlıurfa. [To date my family has] also hidden [its Jewish identity]. Our dead are buried in a Muslim cemetery. We cannot perform our religious rituals in this cemetery, because we are afraid. We cannot use any symbol of our religion. We want to bury our dead in our own cemetery from now on. But I have received negative responses to the appeals I made, although I wasn’t expecting that. In Şanlıurfa, which is home to many different religions and cultures, we Jews do not even have a cemetery of our own,” Badem said.

The Jewish community could consider purchasing land for the establishment of a Jewish cemetery if necessary, Badem said. “When we have our own cemetery, we will be able to perform our religious rituals and use our own symbols on our gravestones. We cannot do that in a Muslim cemetery,” Badem said.

August/24/2012

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READER COMMENTS

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mara mcglothin

8/29/2012 5:02:10 PM

So what was all the fuss about burying that Christian man in the cemetary in Southern Turkey last year? Obviously some "city officials" in that town did NOT get the Sultans edict on the matter. We should all get over ourselves and bury our people together. Simple. If there is only one GOD then who else are Christians, Jews, Muslims worhipping?

american american

8/29/2012 12:53:41 PM

right, so that dude who broke into my buddy`s apartment and stole his laptop and mp3 was a mossad agent

Mohamed Al Hashimi

8/29/2012 7:38:21 AM

Israel will not Jump to Turkey and they are not finish from her neighbour Syria which it is more closer to Israel. However, many crimes that happened in Turkey was from her neighbour problems which many of them was caused by Israel !

american american

8/28/2012 1:19:12 PM

mohamed, how many murders were committed in turkey in 2011? how many of them were committed by turkish jews?

Mohamed Al Hashimi

8/27/2012 6:24:54 AM

Respond to sam stevens: Just check the news, you will see more victims from Muslims by Jewish crimes ! Christian are living in Muslims countries for more than thousand years such as Syria and Egypt. However, United States and Europe can't move without Arab oil !

George Smily

8/26/2012 8:34:18 PM

All monoatheistic people worship to one and the same Diety, God, the Creater of the Universe. Individual religeons and sects worship he way we percieve it is the properway and to that we comit our Concience. Therefor one must accept that the last Rites shou;ld confiorm to that Religeon that guided our Concience and mortal life. One thing we all must remeber, that in the presence of God, we all are equal. As Moslem's prayer states: "Qul Allahu Wahad, Allahu samet" lGlory be to God! Amen.

Murat

8/26/2012 7:19:19 PM

It is nice that all citizens can be buried in a cemetary regardless of faith, but it does not seem to be uniform policy in the country. Tough the municipality cites specific guidelines. I do not see why a request would be denied though if that is what they want. On the other hand would this not highlight seperation? If they have concerns now, how does that help? Performance of Jewish rites in cemetary actually may help change the ruling.

sam stevens

8/26/2012 10:21:44 AM

Jews are being chased from all muslim countries as are Christians......yet all Christian countries tolerate muslims in their millions ....... what does that tell you ? It tells me how much more tolerant & generous Christians are.

Mohamed Al Hashimi

8/26/2012 7:21:13 AM

Jewish were kicking out from Europe like animals until Sultan fourth Mohammed received them in the Ottoman country after that when they should return the beauty, they alliance with U.K to make the fall of Ottoman country!

Turiddu Giuliano

8/25/2012 8:34:25 PM

The most attentive readers of this newspaper certainly remember the news of that Danish citizen who moved to Bodrum, who died a few years later and was buried in the local cemetery. An influential family has requested and obtained that the corpse was moved because they could not stand the idea that an infidel could lie close to their deaths. So no wonder if the Jews hide their identity, look at what happens to the Alevis in Istanbul today!
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