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cremation ashes abroad

Scattering Ashes Abroad – The Perils of the choosing a foreign holiday destination.

Scattering Ashes Abroad – The Perils of the choosing a foreign holiday destination.

A group of British tourists in Marmaris, Turkey, caused a health alert when they scattered a deceased relative’s ashes in the Mediterranean sea. Approximately 40 individuals, staying at three nearby hotels, gathered on Uzunyali beach to fulfil the wish of a loved one who had died at sea. The location was chosen as it was his favourite holiday spot.

The group was photographed standing knee-deep in the water while scattering the ashes. Observers, uncomfortable with the idea of swimming in the water where ashes were being spread, contacted the health authorities. An investigation ensued, with authorities taking water samples, however it is not believed the investigation found any contamination related to the ashes.

Oh dear, the perils of choosing a foreign destination. Many people ask us if this is a good idea. Whilst we don’t have the full picture we can make a few assumption as to what they got right… and perhaps wrong.

First off – Turkey is a Muslim country and cremation is not a cultural practise so scattering ashes is not on their radar. Death and culture aspects of death are super sensitive. So don’t presume that because you find it acceptable others do too – in fact many other cultures get freaked by the practice. It is their country and their rules.

Also, whilst they appear to have gone on a quite time day (judging by the empty sunbeds) – which is a good idea. They went in a massive group to clearly a popular spot, on top of which a number appear to be wearing ‘tour’ tee-shirts which from a celebratory aspect and comradery I applaud – it will attract attention.

The good news is there appears to have been no action taken by the authorities, nether-the-less it has warranted enough attention as to be reported in the British Press

Pros and Cons of Scattering Ashes Abroad

Pros

  1. Honouring Wishes: Allows families to honour the final wishes of the deceased, especially if they had a strong connection to a particular place.
  2. Emotional Closure: Scattering ashes in a place that held significance for the deceased can provide a sense of closure and peace for the family.
  3. Memorial Destination: Creates a special location where family members can visit and remember their loved one.

Cons

  1. Legal and Cultural Sensitivities: Different countries have varying laws and cultural norms regarding cremation and the scattering of ashes. What is acceptable in one country might be illegal or offensive in another.
  2. Public Health Concerns: As seen in the Turkish incident, scattering ashes in public or popular areas can cause discomfort and health concerns among locals and tourists. BTW it is not a health issue, only a lack of knowledge.
  3. Environmental Impact: There may be environmental regulations to consider, as scattering ashes can potentially affect local ecosystems, particularly with sensitive soils and the like.

We can’t condone people breaking the law even if it is victimless. If you are determined to fulfil that last wish. Take note of what happened here and take steps to not make the same mistakes.

ashes in turkey

Thank you to Instagram and Turkish media for the pictures, this is where I found the original article

 

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