Friday, 5 August 2016
One advantage of living in Turkey - Dying is easier.
It's been just over a month since my husband's funeral and less than two years since my father's, so I feel I'm in a position to compare Turkey with the UK.
It seemed to take ages to arrange my Dad's cremation; we had 2 visits from the undertaker and then from the celebrant. My mother and I drove around looking for a venue to hold the post funeral get-together and then there were dates and menus to decide on, music to choose and speeches to write and finally a 4 figure bill to pay.
It's completely different here and speaking as the shell-shocked spouse, much easier. The above advert for the Municipality Funeral Service says it all - ACI GÜNLERİNİZDE YANINDAYIZ - WE ARE BESIDE YOU ON YOUR SAD DAYS. All that was required from me was a visit to the above office with the death certificate, although it could have also been done by phone. I told them the day, time, mosque and graveyard and they did the rest. A van appeared at the house with lots of stools for visitors, which was useful as folk started turning up at the house three hours before the funeral; an announcement had been made in both Bodrum and the surrounding villages so everyone heard the news. The grave was prepared and the hearse arrived at the required time at the mosque. After the burial we all moved back to our house and another van delivered lahmacun with ayran to drink, to serve a hundred. And the cost of this service - nothing.
Completely different experiences but when one's existence has been turned upside down, there is comfort that others are working to make life easier for the those remaining, without an eye on making a profit.
Lahmacun is a spicy meat thin-based pizza, and ayran is a yogurt based drink.