Body Repatriation to Turkey
The death of a loved one abroad is associated with specific legal and financial problems that need to be solved urgently.
Getting to know the nuances of the local funeral legislation and customs together with collecting the necessary documents and organizing the transportation of the body can turn the return of the remains back home into a long and exhausting process and hit hard on the pocket. The religious customs and traditions may sometimes impose additional restrictions and obligations.
Body repatriation to Turkey - Specifics
Despite the fact that Turkey is the most secular country in the Middle East region and religion here is separated from the state, muslims make up 98% of the country's population. This means that when organizing the deceased body repatriation of a Turkish citizen who has died abroad, certain nuances should be taken into account.
In the first instance, it is necessary to emphasize the fact that Islam strictly prohibits cremation. Quran says that any mutilation of dead bodies is a major sin and disrespect for the dignity of the late Muslim. The following hadith attests to this:
“To breake the bones of the deceased is like breaking a living one’s bone”, Sunan Abu Dawood Hadith No. 3207, Ibn Majah, 1616
Turkish law prohibits cremation of the deceased. However, if a Turkish citizen died abroad, the cremated remains may be repatriated back home on condition that the ashes are checked for hazardous substances and materials. In such case you need to submit the documents confirming compliance with these rules to the Turkish consulate, which will issue an appropriate permit.
A citizen of Turkey died in Russia – what to do:
1. Notify the deceased person's insurance company
In accordance with the Federal Law regarding the “Procedure for departure from the Russian Federation and entry into the Russian Federation” and Government Decree regarding medical insurance for foreign citizens temporarily staying in the Russian Federation, medical insurance valid for the entire duration of the stay, is a prerequisite for obtaining a visa. Such an insurance policy should include the provision of medical care in emergency cases, including evacuation and repatriation.
For this reason, the relatives of the deceased must first contact the insurance company at the number indicated in the policy. It compensates in full or partially for the costs of posthumous transportation of the body.
2. Notify the nearest Consulate or Embassy of Turkey
The Consulate General of Turkey in Russia can provide comprehensive assistance to the representatives of the deceased and the relevant authorities in order to simplify and speed up the process of returning the remains of a Turkish citizen to their homeland. Consulate staff will provide detailed advice on all issues relating to the body repatriation, help in obtaining the necessary documents, contact the insurance company and advise qualified funeral director.
3. Choose a funeral director that will help repatriate the body to Turkey
We recommend that everyone who is need to return the remains of a loved one back home should contact Russian funeral director. Although it is possible to collect the necessary documents, go through the appropriate bureaucratic procedures and arrange transportation independently, competent specialists will help to do this as soon as possible, in compliance with all the religious customs and traditions of the deceased. Resident company will provide a proper hearse for delivering the deceased to the airport and a coffin with a zinc insert together with a certificate of the absence of hazardous substances.
4. Choose a transportation method and carrier
The most preferred method of transporting the deceased from Russia to Turkey is by air. In accordance with international aviation rules and Russian legislation, the rules for delivering the body to the homeland and tariffs are set by the air carrier itself. For accurate information on these issues, you need to contact the specific airline that you will choose to deliver.
Documents for remains transportation from Russia to Turkey
All documents must be translated into Turkish and certified with apostille. Additional information regarding the actual list of necessary documents can be obtained at the embassy or consulate of the Turkish Republic.
|Document||Where to obtain|
|ID / proof of citizenship of the deceased.||
Registrar offices in Turkey.
In case of loss of the document while staying in Russia you will have to contact the consulate or embassy of Turkey
|Original and photocopy of the medical certificate of death (form N 106 / y-08)||Morgue|
|Stamped certificate of death||Municipal services centers or registrar offices in Russia|
|Consular death certificate||Consulate of the Republic of Turkey. This document is mandatory if transportation is carried out for the purpose of subsequent burial.|
|Original and photocopy of embalming certificate||Morgue or funeral home|
|Original and photocopied Certificate of Encasement (certifying that the container is sealed and contains no extraneous objects)||Morgue or funeral home|
|Original and photocopy of export permit to ship the body outside the Russian Federation||Rospotrebnadzor|
|Consular permission to transport the body to Turkey||Consulate of the Republic of Turkey|
|Application for customs declaration||
Funeral home that is arranging the repatriation
When you arrange remains shipment without assistance, you must complete a declaration at the airport or when you hand over the body to the carrier
You can collect the documents independently. It may take up to 1-2 weeks. A funeral home will do it within up to 3 business days.
Rules of importation of the deceased from Russia to Turkey
- The body must be in a zinc container or coffin with a zinc liner, which is also inserted in a wooden transport box.
- When transporting ashes, the urn should be transparent to X-rays.
- The container with the body must be sealed and have no unauthorized contents.
The cost of remains transportation to Turkey
The cost depends on weight of remains, coffin, travel distance & carrier rates.
Many airlines require an attendant on board the aircraft. This applies to both the body and the ashes. A relative of the deceased person or a funeral home representative can be such an attendant. The attendant must have a flight ticket. Some airlines have special rates for shipping remains and attending persons. Make sure you check the rates at each specific airline.
When calculating the cost of the posthumous repatriation procedure, you need to take into account the costs of paperwork and the work of the funeral director (embalming the body, buying and soldering a coffin, etc.).
Gosuslugi (Public Services)
Russian Federation Public Services Portal. Here you can find how to get various documents required to arrange remains transportation.
Address: Vadkovsky Pereulok 18, building 5 and 7, Moscow
Phone: +7 (499) 973-26-90
Embassy of Turkey in Russia
Address: 7th Rostovsky lane, building 12
Phone: +7 (495) 994-48-08
Phone (consular department): + 7-495-994 93 59 (on working days from 14.00 to 18.00)
Office hours (consular department): Monday — Friday, 09.00 — 12.30
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey
Ritual.ru – assistance in post-mortem repatriation to Turkey
With our vast experience, knowledge, resources, and status of the official state funeral service Ritual.ru can quickly arrange post-mortem repatriation to Italy. To arrange shipping of the deceased Turkish citizen back home call Ritual.ru hot line +7 (495) 100-3-100.