Church Requested for Foreigners
Halil Karanfiloğlu, the President of Muğla Foreigners Association, stated a church and cemetery should be built for foreigners in the region.
Halil Karanfiloğlu explained that almost 35 thousand foreigners live in Muğla Region. Karanfiloğlu noted most foreign citizens are also Turkish citizens: “According to official records, 15 thousand foreigners have acquired Turkish citizenship and got residency. 24 thousand foreigners have bought real estate properties.”
Karanfiloğlu said almost 10 thousand foreigners living in Muğla Region are from England and the rest is from Germany and Holland: “Our region is very beautiful and has a natural and habitable environment. Retired British people would like to spend the rest of their lives in a place like paradise for this reason. The British can live on with their pensions here very easily. I think it is an important reason for their preference.”
Karanfiloğlu pointed out that they tried to provide services to these people and solve their problems as an association and aimed at creating a mutual culture and living in hospitalitywith foreigners in Muğla. He said they also made use of their experiences and concluded: “We would like to contribute to social events in the region with our members. Our association organizes several events. We have projects particularly for Alzheimer patients and the disabled in society.”
“BURIAL PROCEDURES OF FOREIGNERS ARE BIG PROBLEM”
Karanfiloğlu explained that foreigners living in this region are welcomed with great hospitality; however there is no active church where they can practise their religious duties. He said foreigners in Muğla have to go to İzmir to pray and fulfil their religious duties: “Foreigners do not have a church and cemetery either. Foreigners are buried with Islamic ways as long as they mention on their wills. Cemeteries are very important for foreigners as you know. They would like to be buried in places where they spend the last days of their lives after they die. Burial procedures of foreigners are big problem. Finding a priest is difficult since there is no church. We will take necessary steps and apply to related departments for this purpose.”
Karanfiloğlu reminds that there are special sections separated for foreigners in some cemeteries and said, “But it is not enough. We want a cemetery to be opened for non-Muslims in Fethiye and Marmaris. We have a project for this.”