ISTANBUL (Today’s Zaman)—Aram Tigran, the 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 Diyarbakır, which he said he loved so much.
Interior Minister Beşir 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 Diyarbakır.
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. To escape the Genocide, they left Turkey and setteled in Qamishli, Syria where Tigran was born in 1934.
Residents of Diyarbakır had already prepared for the planned funeral of Tigran with preparations at the city’s Surp Giragos Armenian Church.
In Diyarbakır, Selahattin Demirtaş, 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,” Demirtaş 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.