Birand sent off with ceremonies

Birand sent off with ceremonies

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Birand sent off with ceremonies

The coffin of Turkish journalist Mehmet Ali Birand. who died on January 17, 2013 after gall bladder surgery, is carried by colleagues on January 19, 2013 outside the Tesvikiye mosque in Istanbul. AFP PHOTO

The funeral ceremony for the prominent journalist Mehmet Ali Birand at Teşvikiye Mosque has ended following the funeral prayer.
President Abdullah Gül, Fener Rum Patriarch Bartholomeos, politicians including Deputy PM Bülent Arınç and Hüseyin Çelik and many other famous figures from the world of music to diplomacy, business to religion, attended the ceremony.

"We liked Birand a lot. On Jan. 9 we dined at his house and spent an unforgettable time with him. None of us could have imagined such a thing. But God's wish happens all the time. We have to obey God's will. He could have served Turkish society, international society and world peace for far longer. He was a person who was very intellectual, brave and democratic. He always supported the demands of minorities. We are grateful to him," said Patriarch Bartholomeos.

"He informed Turks of foreign news and us of Turkey's complex and versatile truth in a persuasive way. He was a hero of freedom and peace. We will always remember him," U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone said.
"He was a pioneer, a figure who made great contributions to democracy," Deputy PM Bülent Arınç said.

His corpse will be buried at the Family Cemetry near the Anatolian Castle.

Birand sent off with ceremonies

Prominent journalist Mehmet Ali Birand's body has reached Teşvikiye Mosque in the Nişantaşı district of Istanbul, following a crowded ceremony at Doğan Media Center in Bağcılar, where he worked for years.

"I have lost my father," a crying Birand's son, Umur Birand, said beside his father's body. Overcome with emotion, he was not able to say anything else.

"We couldn't make him stay at home. If he saw this day, he would be incredibly happy. This was a ceremony worthy of presidents," Cemre Birand, his wife, said. 

Journalist colleagues, friends and politicians attended the ceremony. The one to be held at Teşvikiye Mosque at noon today is expected to be much more crowded.