The increase in the cases of theft in the cemeteries, where the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality spends a lot of time on maintenance, renovation and cleaning, a few days before the holiday, has made both the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality and the citizens aggrieved. In the last 3 months, faucets, railings, gratings, air conditioners and doors have been stolen from cemeteries. Metropolitan Municipality officials announced that the issue is being followed by the Police and Gendarmerie units.
Cemeteries under the responsibility of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality have recently become the target of thieves. Before the Eid al-Fitr, the theft cases, while the maintenance, repair and cleaning works were in progress, surprised both the cemetery staff and the cemetery visitors.
Doors, battlements, air conditioners, even railings were stolen from cemeteries.
Deniz Say, Director of Cemeteries Maintenance and Repair Branch of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Cemeteries Department, said, “We have been reporting theft to the Gendarmerie and Police Departments every day for about 2 months. In the last 2 months, 150 meters of guardrail in Hacılarkırı Cemetery, 400 meters of grid in New Bornova Cemetery and 150 meters of electric cable in Old Bornova Cemetery were stolen. The holiday is approaching. We are doing our best to ensure that our citizens who come to visit their deceased relatives can visit them in peace. While our teams are mobilizing to clean the cemeteries before the holiday, we also make great efforts to repair the damage caused by the thieves. We replace stolen items with new ones. But we cannot prevent our citizens from experiencing difficulties, even if only temporarily. The financial value of the stolen materials for about 3 months has exceeded 250 thousand liras. Theft cases have increased in our 2 cemeteries across Izmir in recent months, and theft has become commonplace every day. Cemeteries are places of sentimental value. It has never been like this until this year.”
"For God's sake, don't hurt them"
Emphasizing that theft is the right of a person, İmam Kadir Çelenk, who works at the Burial Services Branch, said, “Cemeteries are places where spirituality is most valuable. Those who do not respect people's spirituality have no respect for human rights. This is not just a cemetery. Thousands of people sleep here. Tons of water is wasted when taps are stolen. In the past, taps were stolen, now gratings, railings, air conditioners have begun to be stolen. They stole the signs and irons at the head of the grave. How would they react if the things they stole were theirs? For the sake of Allah, people should not harm places where their relatives sleep and have spirituality.”
“I don't know what to say to the people who do these things”
Visiting Hacılarkırı Cemetery, Merve Özer said, “I condemn it. A very bad thing. "I don't know what to say to the people who do these things," he said.