German authorities cremate Turkish Muslim woman’s body (Today’s Zaman)

German authorities have reportedly cremated the body of a Turkish Muslim woman after deeming she had “no religion” without informing the Turkish consulate, a German daily reported earlier this week.
The Turkish citizen, 47, was found dead in her house last month in Stuttgart’s Waiblingen and her body was taken to a local morgue, according to the report in Esslinger Zeitung. Authorities reached out to the woman’s adopted daughter but she never showed up to claim the body. The situation was then conveyed to the municipality authorities.

Authorities asked officials at the morgue to extend the stay of the body for a week but then cremated the body in the town of Schwaebisch Hall.   

According to the Islamic law, a body of a Muslim should first be washed and then buried following a funeral prayer.

Waiblingen Mayor Martin Staab also confirmed the cremation of the body of the Turkish woman. Staab said the local authorities registered woman as “agnostic,” acknowledging that the authorities made a mistake and that they should have informed the Turkish consulate.

In German law, if a foreign citizen without relatives dies on German soil, authorities have to inform his or her consulate to receive the body.

Stuttgart Consul General Türker Arı told the Cihan news agency that the cremation of the body was done “without our information or confirmation.”

Arı confirmed the incident and said the consulate has protested it with a letter to Baden-Württemberg Interior Minister Reinhold Gall. He added that the consulate also informed the state’s integration minister, Bilkay Öney.

He noted that he asked all relevant institutions in the state to immediately inform the consulate about the deaths of Turkish citizens.

“I stressed that cremation in our religion is unacceptable. We have not received any response from state authorities. We are closely following the issue,” Arı added.

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