The family of Abdulkadir Sargin is looking for answers to the question why his body was cremated in Germany and how two corpses were mixed up in a hospital in Hannover.
Sargin, a Turkish citizen, died in the emergency room of a Hannover Medical School hospital last week, officials said.
While preparing for the funeral Tuesday, Sargin’s family members were shocked and bewildered when they saw that the man in the coffin was a complete stranger. After calling the hospital, they were told that the staff had mistakenly given his body to another family and that he had been cremated. Cremation is not permitted in Islamic tradition and is considered to be a desecration of the deceased.
Sargin’s nephew Barysh Sargin told the Demirören (DHA) news agency on Friday that the cremation procedure usually takes three weeks and they are now waiting for the authorities to explain why his uncle was cremated “in just two days”.
“They should allay our suspicions,” he said.
Sargin died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the MHH hospital in Hannover. Then, at the request of the family, the body of the 71-year-old man was taken to a funeral company for an Islamic burial.
But his son Kerem saw that it was not his father when the body was taken for ablution (Islamic ritual) and contacted the hospital. An intern working at the hospital’s mortuary admitted she made a mistake and mixed up the bodies.
“We immediately contacted other officials and found that my uncle’s body was cremated within two days of his death,” Sargin said.
“We are really curious why they rushed to cremate his body. I wonder what they are hiding from us,” Sargin added.
He said officials offered to give his uncle’s ashes to his family, but they refused. “How can we be sure of this if it really is his ashes?” he said.
Sargin said the family had been contacted by the Turkish consulate and the Turkish Foreign Ministry. Turkish officials have vowed to investigate the incident and the consulate will provide the family with a lawyer. He said the German police had also launched an investigation into the confusion.