Sun. May 26th, 2024
alert-–-moment-british-tourists-wade-into-the-sea-and-sprinkle-loved-one’s-ashes-into-the-water-at-his-favourite-holiday-spot-in-turkey…-unwittingly-horrifying-locals-and-triggering-health-scareAlert – Moment British tourists wade into the sea and sprinkle loved-one’s ashes into the water at his favourite holiday spot in Turkey… unwittingly horrifying locals and triggering health scare

This is the moment British tourists waded into the sea to scatter the ashes of a loved-one, triggering a health scare among ‘panicked’ locals at a popular Turkish swimming spot.

Video shared by the Ibrox Bar Marmaris, a Rangers FC sports bar at the Uzunyalı beach, showed a large group of people embracing and sprinkling ashes just off the coast on Monday morning.

The family had reportedly travelled with the intent of spreading the ashes at the beach, the late relative’s favourite holiday spot, in a touching ceremonial tribute.

Health authorities in Marmaris, on the southern Aegean Coast, were reportedly prompted to pick up a hasty investigation following backlash from concerned locals about potential water contamination.

Swimmers warned that the spreading of ashes in popular waters just steps away from the coastline could endanger health.

Local reports later claimed the samples taken from the sea ‘had nothing to do with the incident’ and were part of a ‘routine inspection’, however. 

While the process of cremation kills all potential microorganisms carrying health risks, the practice is not legal in Turkey and restrictions are in place to limit bringing ashes into the country.

A group of '40 friends and family' turned out in honour of the late Briton

A group of ’40 friends and family’ turned out in honour of the late Briton

Swimmers raised concerns the family were scattering ashes too close to the beach, however

Swimmers raised concerns the family were scattering ashes too close to the beach, however

One witness said the group travelled over to scatter the ashes at the man's favourite spot

One witness said the group travelled over to scatter the ashes at the man’s favourite spot 

The family of a man who died scatter the ashes of their late relative at Uzunyalı beach

The family of a man who died scatter the ashes of their late relative at Uzunyalı beach

One witness, staying at the nearby Asda Maris hotel, told today there were ’40 people staying in three hotels’, including friends and family, who had made the journey in honour of the deceased.

‘The daughter explained that her 43-year-old dad had died and that they all wanted to remember him by placing his ashes in the sea at his favourite beach in Marmaris,’ said Paul, who added that the family had been visiting the area ‘for many years’.

‘On their first day about 20 of them congregated at the Asda Maris hotel and had a lovely day eating, drinking beer and cocktails, using the pool and slide, so they were generally in a good mood prior to the actual spreading of the ashes.’

The water tests arranged by local authorities were not directly related to the concerns about the ashes, local media later reported against initial claims.

There is also no immediate health risk posed by ashes in the sea.

Cremation occurs at such high temperatures that any micro-organisms that could cause health concerns are destroyed in the process. 

But restrictions on scattering ashes in Turkey have caused significant upset for travellers in the past.

British forum users have described the drawn-out process of working through Turkish and British bureaucracy to get permission to organise a send-off.

Robin, writing on the Sue Ryder bereavement support charity forum, said it took them nearly two years to get permission from all the relevant authorities to scatter their wife’s ashes.

‘My wife always loved Turkey from the first time we went there 40 years ago… so it was a no brainer where she would want to be at rest,’ they wrote.

‘Unfortunately it’s never that simple. 

‘It took me nearly two years to get permissions set up with UK airport, airline, Turkish airport, Turkish Government, Turkish Local Council Officials, Main Mosque Representatives, Turkish Police, and Local Port Authorities.’

Still, they said they were ultimately able to organise the journey, and that their ‘mind is at peace’ after being able to do ‘the last physical thing I could do for her’.

While some airlines do allow passengers to take ashes to Turkey in carry-on luggage, there remain restrictions in place for what people can do with them after landing.

Cremation is not legal in Turkey and there are no cremation facilities.

When a British person dies in Turkey, the British government advises, finding a local funeral director to arrange a burial, who ‘will be able to explain the local process’.

Turkey is a Muslim country, and while it is permissible for non-Muslims to be buried in line with their own burial practices within the country, cremation is not allowed under Islamic law.

The bereaved may also arrange the repatriation of the body home.

In 2022, cultural sensitivities on the matter were felt when a Turkish man was accidentally cremated in a hospital in Hannover.

The touching tribute was organised by family of the late Briton, per Turkish media

The touching tribute was organised by family of the late Briton, per Turkish media

The Uzunyalı beach in southwestern Turkey was a favourite place of the deceased

The Uzunyalı beach in southwestern Turkey was a favourite place of the deceased

Illustrative image shows Turunc Bay in Marmaris, one of many beautiful parts of the coastline

Illustrative image shows Turunc Bay in Marmaris, one of many beautiful parts of the coastline

The family of Abdülkadir Sargın, a Turkish citizen, were shocked when – during funeral preparations – they discovered the person in the coffin was a complete stranger.

71-year-old Sargın had died from a brain hemorrhage at the MHH hospital in Hannover.

His body was to be transported to a funeral company for an Islamic burial, upon the family’s request.

After the horror discovery, an intern at the hospital’s morgue admitted to having made a mistake and mixing up the bodies, per the Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper. 

The family raised concerns about why the body had been cremated so soon after Sargın’s death, and local police launched an investigation.

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