Bodies of Ottoman Turks reburied with rites, prays
The bodies of Ottoman Turks that were found during an excavation 10 months ago in a Greek village were finally laid to rest with Islamic rituals after months.
In February, a Turkish-Muslim cemetery from the Ottoman era was discovered during the construction of a gymnasium in the garden of a school in Simandra village in northern Greece.
Following the field works in the cemetery, authorities have discovered 201 corpses, which were traced to the Turkish community that used to live in the region before the 1923 population exchange agreement, laying there.
As the bodies were placed under cold storage for months, the local authorities informed the public that bodies would be re-buried in the municipal cemetery with epitaphs.
As a result of the efforts of the Turkish authorities, 201 bodies were buried in the cemetery on Dec. 7 with a prayer officiated by Zaki Sidi Mohammed, the imam of Athens Mosque.
Greece was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire for centuries, until 1829 when the Greek population succeeded in gaining independence from the empire.
Following the discovery of the cemetery, an explanation was sought by Ankara about the tombs and a request was made to cease construction at the site and a burial in accordance with Islamic rites.