Soldiers who took part in and were killed in the July 15 Gülenist coup attempt are finding no posthumous peace in Ankara as their families have refused to claim the corpses. It is the latest chapter in the disgrace that befell on the soldiers whose colleagues in Istanbul were buried in a burial site with a sign reading "Traitors' Cemetery," which was designated by local authorities who later retracted it.
The bodies of six soldiers killed in Gendarmerie Central Command headquarters in the capital were claimed by their next of kin, but 10 other identified bodies remain unclaimed to this day. Laws stipulate their burial in a cemetery for homeless or unidentified people if no one claims the body.
The corpses of most soldiers involved who were killed in the coup attempt in which hundreds of civilians, police officers and soldiers loyal to the government were killed were not claimed by their families, looking to distance themselves from the putsch. They were not given any religious funeral ceremony either and Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB) has announced funeral prayers will not be performed for any person involved in the coup attempt. The DİB, however, disagreed with the Istanbul municipality over the "Traitors' Cemetery" and its head, Mehmet Görmez, asked Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş to remove the sign out of concern that the families of slain officers might be offended.
Those involved in the failed coup attempt face unabated public outrage and at rallies every night, crowds across the country condemn the coup attempt, the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ) accused of masterminding the putsch and high-ranking officers who conducted the attempt.
Thousands of military officers and soldiers have been detained and arrested following the coup attempt and they face life in prison on charges of attempting a coup and terrorism.
Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country where funerals are grand occasions with solemn prayers, but families of those who had committed serious crimes like a coup attempt or terrorism and died in the process often reject claiming the bodies.