Ankara: Tigran Not To Be Buried In Turkey, Says Atalay


Today’s Zaman
12 August 2009, Wednesday

Aram Tigran, an Armenian singer who is well-known by Kurds and
Turks and who died in Athens last week, had wished to be buried in
the southeastern Anatolian province of Diyarbakýr, which he said he
loved so much.

Interior Minister Beþir Atalay told Today’s Zaman on Tuesday that
Tigran’s family had applied to the Turkish Foreign Ministry in order
to be able to bury Tigran’s body in Diyarbakýr.

However, due to related legal arrangements, the Foreign Ministry had
to refuse this demand, Atalay added.

Meanwhile, the Cihan news agency reported that a special Cabinet
decision was required for the burial of foreign people in Turkey.

Tigran’s family was originally from the southeastern province of
Batman. Yet, they had to emigrate from Turkey to Qamishli, Syria during
the 1915 events in which Anatolian Armenians were killed. Aram Tigran
was born in Qamishli in 1934.

Residents of Diyarbakýr had already prepared for the planned funeral
of Tigran with preparations at the city’s Surp Giragos Armenian Church.

In Diyarbakýr, Selahattin Demirtaþ, deputy chair of the parliamentary
group of the Democratic Society Party (DTP), on Tuesday voiced
disappointment over the refusal of Tigran’s family’s request.

"We have been exerting efforts in order to carry out the last request
of a person. The government should also display a flexible and
constructive manner for carrying out such a humanitarian request,"
Demirtaþ said, noting that his party had held contacts with both
the Interior Ministry and the Culture Ministry. "We haven’t lost our
expectations and hopes yet," he added.