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The cremation of a Turkish man in Germany shocks the family

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Abdelkader Sargin’s family is searching for answers as to why his body was cremated in Germany and how two bodies were mixed in a hospital in Hanover.

Sargin, a Turkish national, died in the emergency ward of the Hanover Medical Hospital last week, officials said.

During preparations for the funeral on Tuesday, the Sargins were shocked and confused when they saw that the person in the coffin was a complete stranger. After contacting the hospital, they were informed that the staff had mistakenly given his body to another family and that his body had been cremated. Cremation is not permitted in the Islamic tradition and is a desecration of the dead.

Sargin’s nephew, Barış Sargin, told the Demirören News Agency (DHA) on Friday that cremation procedures usually take three weeks, and now they expect an explanation from the authorities as to why his uncle’s body was cremated “in just two days.”

“They have to ease our suspicions,” he said.

Sargin died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the MHH Hospital in Hanover. The body of the 71-year-old was then taken to a funeral company for an Islamic burial, as requested by the family.

But his son, Karim, saw that he was not his father when the body was taken to be washed (Islamic ritual) and called the hospital. An intern working in the hospital morgue admitted she made a mistake and mixed up the bodies.

“We immediately contacted other officials and found out that my uncle’s body had been cremated within two days of his death,” Sargin said.

Sargin added, “We are really curious why they rushed to cremate his body. I wonder what they are hiding from us.”

He said officials offered to hand over his uncle’s ashes to the family, but they refused. “How can we be sure that if it was indeed his ashes?” He said.

Sargin said the Turkish consulate and the Turkish Foreign Ministry contacted the family. Turkish officials promised to follow up on the incident and the consulate would provide a lawyer for the family. He said German police had also opened an investigation into the manipulation.

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