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    International Funeral Transport

    International Funeral Transport

    Certain procedures must be fulfilled for the foreign national’s body transfer to be made to the country to which the citizens of foreign countries who died in Turkey belong. Necessary documents should be obtained from Turkish official departments and funeral approval should be obtained from the consulates of their respective countries. First of all, a death certificate is required for the foreign citizen who has passed away. There are certain points for issuing death certificates. Where and why a foreign citizen who passed away died is an important detail in terms of the institution or authorized person that will issue the death certificate. In the event that a foreign citizen dies at the hospital for natural reasons, the death certificate is issued by the authorized doctor at the hospital and delivered to the relevant person.

    If the death takes place at home for natural reasons, a doctor is requested by applying to the municipality affiliated to it. The doctor appointed by the relevant municipality confirms that death has occurred and issues a death certificate. In the event of death as a result of forensic events, the relevant Public Prosecutor’s Office may issue a death certificate. If an autopsy is to be performed on a foreign citizen who has passed away, the death certificate is issued by the Forensic Medicine Institute. The issuance of the death certificate is the primary procedure required for an international funeral transfer.

    The death certificate issued for sending a funeral abroad is sent to the population directorate by the Community Health Center. Death must be reported within a maximum of ten (10) days from the date of death. While the death of a foreign citizen is notified to the civil registry office, the identity card / identity card / passport of the deceased person is also sent to the civil registry office. If the passport of the deceased foreign citizen cannot be found, the information of the deceased person is requested from the relatives of the deceased person with a written statement. Apart from the written declaration of the passport information of the deceased person from the relatives of the deceased person, no identity record copy or any other document related to the passport is required.

    Procedures for International Funeral Transfer

    After the death notification made by the Community Health Center to the population directorate, it is necessary to obtain the MERNIS (Central Population Management System of Turkey) death certificate and the multilingual death certificate (Formula C) to be issued by the population directorate. Although there is a difference from country to country, apostille approval is required on the multilingual death certificate (Formula C). Embalming procedures should be carried out in order to prevent the body of the person who died within the scope of foreign funeral transfer operations from being degraded by chemical processes. The transaction should be recorded and a report should be prepared. In order to carry out the transfer of the foreigner who passed away in Turkey, it is obligatory to obtain a road permit from the municipality of the place where the death occurred. Airline is generally preferred for sending the funeral of a foreigner who has passed away in Turkey to abroad. If shipping is to be made by sea, the documents to be submitted to the ship administration must be submitted to the Borders and Coasts Health Directorate before the funeral delivery. In the transportation to be made by road, there is an obligation to obtain a road permit from the municipality of the place where the death occurred.

    The most used shipping choice for international funeral transport is the airline. The reason why the airway is preferred for sending the funeral abroad is because it is faster than other options and the burial can be taken care of as soon as possible. It is necessary to book a flight by submitting the necessary documents to the airline company for the funeral of a foreign citizen to be carried out abroad.

    Documents Required for Submitting Funeral Abroad

    There are important procedures to be carried out before the delivery of the body to be sent by air. The body of a foreign citizen to be transported abroad must be packaged in a way that does not leak and smell bad. In order not to be damaged, it should be placed in a solid coffin made of metal, zinc, wood or lead and it should be covered with a sack or canvas so that it is invisible. Funerals found as ashes for overseas funerals; the wooden box must be in the crate and in shock-absorbing packaging. It should be contained in a container that is effective against breakage, protected and with a special lid.

    The required documents to be submitted for the transfer of funerals abroad by air are listed below:

    • Death certificate
    • Companion identification information (if available)
    • Road permit
    • Funeral approval obtained from the relevant consulate

    If a companion will not be present on the flight within the scope of international funeral transfer, the information of the person who will receive the body must be notified to the airline company in advance. Documents must be submitted to the customs office of the airport where the transfer will take place for the funeral delivery abroad. The customs procedures of the funeral are fulfilled by verbal declaration to the customs office of the airport where the transfer will take place.

    The documents to be submitted to the customs office at the airport are listed below:

    • Verbal declaration form to be issued by the customs officer
    • Death certificate
    • Formula C certificate (multilingual death certificate)
    • Road permit
    • Funeral certificate obtained from the consulate

    Funeral Procedures Executed in Turkey

    The activities carried out for the funeral transfer abroad and the funeral operations to be carried out in Turkey differ from each other in several aspects. The burial procedures of the deceased person vary depending on where and why the person died. If the deceased person takes place at home for natural reasons, the original identity card or identity register copy of the deceased person is applied to the municipality doctor of the place where the death occurred and a “Death Certificate” and a “Burial Permit” are obtained. The death certificate is reported to the Population Directorate within a maximum of 10 days by the Community Health Center. With the burial permit, an application is made to the nearest funeral office of the relevant municipality funeral director. Graves are allocated from the cemetery area available by the funeral chief in question.

    If you want to make a selection from the places that are found empty, you can apply to the relevant municipal cemetery directorate and you can get a grave place after paying the “funeral burial place fee”. If you have an empty burial place that you have bought before, you can also use the empty grave place you have taken by submitting the original copy of the “Grave Site Use Certificate” to the Funeral Affairs Office during the burial. After the burial place is allocated, the funeral is taken from the morgue and taken to the gas station. Washing, cleaning and shrouding of the alien person who has passed away is carried out in the gashouse. The laurel is made ready. The burial is carried out with a ceremony belonging to the religion to which the foreign citizen has passed away. It is also possible to hold a religious ceremony for funerals that will be sent abroad.

    About Cemetery Construction

    After 3 months from the date of burial, an application is made to the relevant Regional Directorate of Cemetery and a “Grave Site Construction License” is obtained. After the license for building a burial place is obtained, the certificate of use of the grave place is taken under custody by the Regional Directorate of the Cemetery to be returned to the person. The license for building a burial place is given for a period of one month. It is mandatory to complete the construction of the burial place within the specified period. After the burial place is built, it is recorded in the cemetery book.

    The burial site usage certificate is given back by the Cemetery Regional Directorate after the construction of the grave place is processed. If the death took place in the hospital due to natural reasons, the death certificate and burial certificate is issued by the official in the hospital, not from the relevant city / district municipal physician. The death certificate of the person who died as a result of a forensic event is taken after the preliminary examination of the Public Prosecutor. If the funeral is in the Forensic Medicine Institute, the “Burial License” is issued by the relevant institution. For natural reasons, all other funeral burials are the same, except for the institutions that issue a death certificate of the person who died as a result of a forensic event, at home or in the hospital. If an intercity funeral transfer is to be made, it is necessary to obtain a “Road Permit Certificate” from the municipality.

    Funeral Procedures for Foreigners Who Deceased in Turkey

    There are regulations, various laws, regulations, directives or communiqués about the funeral procedures of foreign nationals who passed away in Turkey. In this context, the arrangements regarding the funeral procedures will be included following the notification of the event of death, respectively. In the event of the death of foreigners residing in Turkey, the Turkish official authorities must notify the consulate in the area of ​​duty where the death occurred. In the reporting of death, no time has been stipulated in international conventions, and it is obligatory to make the said death notification immediately. The foreign country citizen who has passed away in Turkey must be notified to the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs or the provincial / district population directorate within ten (10) days. The notification to be made to the Population Directorate is an important issue within the scope of the funeral transfer abroad. The official authorities to declare the death of the foreigner; they will issue burial permit in cities and towns (Community Health Center), official physicians or health institution officials in villages, if available.

    If they are not available, village headmen are officers to be authorized by local governors in health institutions such as nursing homes or hospitals. They are the relevant Public Prosecution Offices affiliated with forensic events and accidents. Within the scope of the Regulation on the Implementation of the Population Services Law, the death of a foreigner who has died in Turkey is notified to the relevant population directorate along with three copies of the death report. This notification is also valid for the funeral transfer abroad. One of these minutes is given to the person concerned. The other is the foreigners are put in the death file and the other is sent to the provincial police directorate together with the residence permit, if any. In the Regulation on Construction of Cemeteries and Funeral Transfer and Burial Operations, it is stated that the death event must be reported within ten days from the date of occurrence.

    Information Regarding Death Certificate

    When the notification of death of the foreign national is sent to the population directorate, it is sent along with the death certificate and the passport/ID card (original or copy) of the deceased person. In situations where the deceased person’s passport/ID Card cannot be found, the name surname, passport/ID details are requested to be written by the kin of the deceased person. This is essential for those who will carry out funeral transfer operations abroad. It is stated in the relevant article that no other documents will be requested from the first degree relatives of the deceased person other than the written statements. The death certificate included in the Regulation on Construction of Cemeteries and Funeral Transfer and Burial Procedures is also regulated in the death of foreigners. In this context, if the death occurred in official health institutions or the funeral of a foreign citizen was brought to a health institution, the death certificate is issued by the health institution. It is also approved by the competent supervisor of the relevant institution. If the death occurred in private health institutions, the death certificate given by the doctor in the treatment of the disease that caused the death is valid only if it is approved.

    The death certificate is the most crucial certificate with respect to the transportation of a foreign national’s dead body. In the event that the death occurs outside of the health institutions, the death certificate is issued by the relevant municipal physician in the place where the body is located. In places where there is no municipal physician, it is issued by the community health center, if not by the family physician, or, in their absence, by the authority to issue a death certificate. Foreign funeral procedures who died in Turkey differ according to the funeral procedures of Turkish citizens, and they can be buried in Turkey or sent to the country of their citizenship as a result of the funeral transfer operations abroad.

                                            Burial of Deceased Foreigners in Turkey

    There are certain rules for the funeral procedures of foreign country citizens who are to be buried in Turkey. The first thing to be executed again is to take the death certificate taken within the scope of the funeral transfer abroad during the burial process in Turkey. The death certificate is issued by different authorities according to the cause and place of death of the deceased foreigner. If the death of a foreign citizen takes place at home for natural reasons, a physician is requested by applying to the municipality affiliated to it. The death certificate is issued by the physician appointed by the municipality. If the foreigner is admitted to the Prosecutor’s Office or the Forensic Medicine Institute for autopsy, a death certificate is issued by the authorized doctor at the hospital, if the citizen died in the hospital due to natural causes by the said institution. If death occurred as a result of forensic events, Republic of Turkey death certificate is issued. The death certificate issued is received from the relevant institution by the relative of the foreign citizen who has passed away. With the death certificate received, it is necessary to apply to the population directorate and obtain a multilingual death certificate (Formula C).

    Formula C is among the documents required for a funeral transfer abroad. After the necessary documents are received, you must obtain the burial approval by submitting the documents to the Provincial Governorship where the burial will take place. For the declaration of death of a foreign citizen, the relatives of the deceased are required to notify the consulate or embassies. In the declaration of death to the consulate or embassies, it is necessary to present the death certificate of the deceased foreign country citizen and, if any, passport or identity card. After the procedures, you can apply to the cemetery directorate with the relevant documents and the burial of the deceased foreign country citizen, whichever cemetery will be buried.

    Funeral Procedures Brought From Abroad

    Funeral brought from abroad, such as foreign funeral transfer procedures, are also carried out with certain procedures and documents pertaining to them. Bodies brought to Turkey from abroad are processed in accordance with the “Transfer of the Funeral Treaty” and the provisions of national legislation. The countries that are deemed to be risk-free in terms of public health are determined by the Turkish General Directorate of Borders and Coasts, taking the opinions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The “List of Risk-Free Countries at Funeral Entrance” is given to the administrative offices in the international entrance areas and the necessary procedures are requested to be carried out within this scope. Bodies transferred from other countries are evaluated in terms of public health risk. No health procedure is applied to the corpses brought from countries that are considered as risk-free in terms of public health by the Turkey General Directorate of Borders and Coasts in terms of health in the areas of entry to Turkey. These bodies are considered as cargo. Entry to Turkey is carried out by the authorized customs directorate.

    Entry Procedures of Funerals from Risky Countries

    If there is a Funeral Transfer Certificate at the entrance of the corpses from risky countries in accordance with the international transfer conditions to Turkey, a “Dormitory Entry Permit for Funerals” is issued by the health personnel in charge. If the corpse, brought from abroad, died due to an infectious disease or if it is stated that there is an infectious disease although he died due to another reason, a “Dormitory Entry Permit for Funerals” is issued for the funeral. In the document in question, it is stated that direct contact with the funeral should not be made and that the burial procedures of the funeral should take place within the framework of the provisions of the relevant legislation on death from infectious diseases. The corpses brought from risky countries and entered into Turkey are recorded in the Turkey Border and Coasts Health Information System by the authorized health unit. The entry documents of the corpses from risky countries to Turkey are kept under archive by the officer in charge.

    It is necessary to submit a “Passage Permit for Funerals” (Funeral Transfer Certificate) for the entry procedures of the corpses from risky countries in accordance with the international transport conditions. If there is no Pass Permit for Funerals, it should be ensured that the document is obtained in the fastest way possible by contacting the funeral owners and the consulate they are affiliated with. In the event that the said document cannot be obtained, the information about the funeral is recorded in the Border and Coasts Health Information System. However, “Dormitory Entry Permit for Funerals” is not issued. In order to evaluate the entry of the body to Turkey, the necessary security units are notified with an official document. If there is a Funeral Transfer Document, but if an autopsy was performed, and if the information regarding the reason of death is missing in the document;

    • If the missing information is included in the documents attached to the “Funeral Transfer Document”, the document is accepted as complete.
    • If the complete information is not included in the documents attached to the “Funeral Transfer Document”, the relatives of the funeral and the relevant consulate are contacted to complete the missing information.
    • If the information cannot be obtained, the existing information about the funeral is entered into the system. However, “Dormitory Entry Permit for Funerals” is not issued. In order to evaluate the entry of the body into the country, the relevant police units are notified about the situation with official documents.

    Forensic Funeral Procedures Brought From Abroad

    Types of death are divided into groups as death at home due to natural reasons, at hospital for natural reasons or as a result of forensic events. If the corpses from abroad are included in the judicial event, the procedures to be done are as follows: If there is an autopsy report of the dead bodies coming from risk-free countries, the entry procedures for the funeral are carried out by the customs office. If there is no autopsy report, a notification is made to the police units by the relevant customs office. Bodies coming from risky countries to the country are notified to the health personnel in charge by the relevant customs directorate. The corpse, which has an autopsy report, is evaluated by the health officer, and the appropriate ones are drafted “Dormitory Entry Permit for Funerals”. A “Dormitory Entry Permit for Funerals” is issued by the authorized health personnel to the funerals that do not have an autopsy report and are considered to be risk-free in terms of public health, and the police units are informed about the situation.

    List of Countries Considered as Risk-Free in terms of Public Health in the Entry of Funerals to Turkey

    Member States of the Council of Europe, and…

    AlbaniaAndorraArmenia
    AustriaAzerbaijanBelgium
    Bosnia and HerzegovinaBulgaria CroatiaCroatia
    Czech RepublicDenmarkEstonia
    FinlandFranceGeorgia
    GermanyGreeceGreek Republic of Southern Cyprus
    IcelandIrelandItaly
    HungaryLatviaLiechtenstein
    LithuaniaLuxembourgMacedonia
    MaltaMoldovaMonaco
    MontenegroNetherlandsNorway
    PolandPortugalRomania
    RussiaSan MarinoSerbia
    SlovakiaSlovenia Spain
    SwedenSwitzerlandUkraine
     United Kingdom 

    Observer Countries

    Canada, Israel, Mexico, Japan, United States of America and Vatican City.

    You can reach us on the lines +90 212 706 84 17 and +90 212 970 02 88 for more detailed information about the funeral transfer abroad and the funeral procedures brought from abroad.