Death of a U.S. Citizen

Death of a Loved One

The U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Turkey can assist family members and friends during this difficult time. Following the death of a loved one, the next of kin needs to choose a funeral home as quickly as possible. A list of funeral homes and other procedures are explained below.

Anyone aware of the death of a U.S. citizen should report the death immediately to the local police and to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

The person reporting the death of a U.S. military member should also inform the Department of Defense.

The person reporting a death should include the deceased person’s name, date and place of birth, passport number, date and place of death, cause of death, and the location of the remains as well as the full name and phone number of the next of kin, if available.

Consular officers will attempt to contact the next of kin immediately. In cases where the consular officer cannot immediately identify the next of kin, the Embassy or Consulate will attempt to locate the next of kin, or legal representative.

Generally, the next of kin is held to be the spouse, the adult children, the parent(s), or the siblings of the deceased.

The next of kin must complete an Affidavit of Surviving Spouse or Next of Kin (PDF 184KB). The next of kin may then, fax or email a scanned copy to the Embassy or Consulate, to be followed by the original document notarized by a U.S. recognized Notary Public, sent via courier to the attention of the Consular Section.

The next of kin may choose to have the remains buried in Turkey, or embalmed and returned to the United States.

Interment in Turkey:

  • Next of kin should contract with a local funeral home for local interment (see the section below, Funeral Homes in Turkey).
  • The cost for burial in Turkey ranges from $1,000 for burial without embalming in a common grave, to $6,000 for burial with embalming in a private cemetery.
  • Turkish law does not allow for the cremation of human remains.
  • If the next of kin is not physically present in Turkey, the consular officer may prepare a letter of authorization for the funeral home.
  • Turkish authorities take into consideration other factors, such as an autopsy, investigation, or family wishes for timing of interment, yet regulations and customs in Turkey normally require human remains to be buried as soon as possible following death.

Repatriation of Remains to the United States:

  • Next of kin should contract with a local funeral home for repatriation to the United States (see the section below, Funeral Homes in Turkey).
  • The cost for embalming, preparation, documentation, and air shipment of remains to the United States from Turkey is approximately $4,500-$7,000.
  • The consular officer will prepare a consular mortuary certificate.
  • If the next of kin is not physically present in Turkey, the consular officer may prepare a letter of authorization for the funeral home.
  • Funeral homes in Turkey prepare remains for air shipment in accordance with the laws of and facilities available in Turkey and, in some cases, the services fall short of those expected in the U.S. For example, embalming is not customary in Turkey, and storage facilities are generally inadequate outside of major cities. Families are encouraged to inquire about embalming options available.
  • See the next section, Necessary Turkish Government Documents, for more information about necessary documents.
  • A licensed funeral home in the United States must receive the remains upon arrival.

The next of kin needs to obtain several documents from Turkish authorities in order to prepare remains for local burial or shipment abroad. In many instances a funeral home in Turkey can obtain, or assist you in obtaining, these documents.

Turkish Death Certificate: The first physician who examines the body and the hospital’s medical director, or the municipality physician if death did not occur at a hospital, will prepare and sign the Turkish death certificate. You may be asked to obtain a certified English translation of the death certificate.

Embalming Report: Only physicians are authorized to embalm corpses and issue the necessary report for export of remains.

Affidavit: The mortician of the embalming authority must sign an affidavit before the consular officer.

Consular Mortuary Certificate: The Embassy or Consulate will prepare this document.

Export Permit: A municipality physician must issue an export permit.

Customs Transportation Certificate: A customs officer examines the casket in the presence of a municipality physician and issues the customs certificate.  Upon receipt of the airway bill number, the Municipality Health Office issues a laissez passer, which is the final certificate necessary for the export of the remains.

Legal advice : We do not have a legal department and we cannot intervene or give advice in the private legal matters, including wills, probate and estate matters.  If you require legal advice, you can find lists of some law firms on our website.

The consular officer will prepare a Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad, based on the Turkish death certificate. The consular officer will provide copies of the Consular Report of a U.S. Citizen Death Abroad to the next of kin or legal representative; the report may be used in U.S. courts to settle estate matters.

A consular officer in Turkey may have statutory responsibility for the personal estate of a U.S. citizen who dies there, if the deceased has no legal representative or next of kin in Turkey.

Some U.S. insurance companies, other agencies, and courts in the U.S. request information on the consular officer’s legal authority to issue such reports. That authority is contained in 22 U.S. Code 4196; 22 Code of Federal Regulations 72.1.

The Embassy or Consulate will provide copies of the Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad to the next of kin, free of charge. You may contact the U.S. Department of State’s Passport Vital Records Office for additional certified copies.

U.S. Department of State
Passport Vital Records Office
1111 19th Street NW, Suite 510
Washington, DC 20522-1705

For more details on how to make a request, please click here.

Absent any special circumstances (such as the death having occurred as the result of a crime), Turkish law allows embalming of remains as soon as possible following death.

The next of kin or another individual who is responsible for making funeral arrangements may contact a suitable funeral home in Turkey to assist with local arrangements. The below list is compiled by consular officers of some funeral homes operating in Turkey that have provided embalming and funeral services in the past, it is not exhaustive.


DAS Funeral Services 
Beyaz Evler Mh. Adnan Kahveci Bulvarı
Yeterler 2 Ap. K:1 D:1 Cukurova / Adana
Tel: 90-322-444-1280,  90-322-233-5962
Fax: 90-322-233-6038


Alo Ozel Ambulance and Funeral Services
M Rauf Inan Sokak No 3-9
Sihhiye, Ankara
Contact: Mr. Volkan Ogretmen
Tel: 90-312-430-0101
Fax: 90-312-430-0607

Dolunay Funeral Services
Mahmut Esat Bozkurt Caddesi 10/3
Kolej, Cankaya, Ankara
Tel: 90-312-432-5-432
Fax: 90-312-435-8-435
Contact Person: Ms. Tulay Ataman 

Muftuoglu Ambulance and Funeral Services
Haci Bayram Veli Sok No 30-A
Ulus, Ankara
Contact: Mr. Cengiz Bali
Tel: 90-312-311-1075
Fax: 90-312-360-6977


Antlink Funeral Home (Fempa Funeral Services)
Altindag Mah. 100. Yil Blv.
No:12/202, Muratpasa
07040 Antalya
Contact: Ms. Jenny Ozcelik
Tel: 90-242-243-6219
Fax: 90-242-248-7724
Mobile: 90-533-740-2241
Email: /


Uç Yildiz Funeral ServicesYeni Cami Mahallesi Kamil Erdin Sokak No:1/7 09200 Soke, AydinContact: Mr. Eray ERBEKCİTel: 90-532-785-1426, 90-505-687-2325


DAS Funeral Services
H. Evler Mh. 21.Sk. Ahmet Recep Battal
Gazi Apt. No:1 Kayapınar, Diyarbakır
Tel: 90-412-238-1078


DAS Funeral Services
Numune Mh. 573. Sk. No:2/2
İskenderun, Hatay
Tel: 90-326-618-0020


Taksim International Funeral Services
Inonu Mahallesi Sazlidere Caddesi No:16 Dolapdere, Taksim, Istanbul
Contact: Mr. Artem Bilan
Tel: 90-531-785-9945, 90-212-224-2606

Kollaro Funeral Services
Baruthane Cad. No:55 Ferikoy Sisli, Istanbul
Contact: Mr. Emanuel Manukyan
Tel: 90-212-245-4145
Fax: 90-216-630-0809

Koksal Funeral Services
Fatih 34250, Istanbul
Contact: Mr. Serif Koksal
Tel: 90-536-765-8416

Berckac Funeral Services
Bozkurt Mah. Ergenekon Cad. Muratoglu Is Hani No: 41 D: 68 Sisli, Istanbul
Contact: Ms. Tamar Erdavityan
Tel: 90-532-473-8257


Aloses Ambulance and Funeral Services
509/7 Sok No:9/A
Karabağlar, Izmir
Contact: Mr. Serdar Salligolu
Tel: 90-232-255-9090

Sentas Ambulance and Funeral Services
1583/5 Sok. No:6
Bayrakli Adliye Karşisi
Rodkar Işmerkezi
Bayrakli, Izmir
Contact: Mr. Taskin Koc
Tel: 90-232-435-4181


DAS Funeral Services
1401.Sk. No:19 Yavuz Apt. Kat:1 No:3
Yenisehir, Mersin
Tel: 90-324-325-7767


Dunya Funeral Services
Orhaniye Dist. Hospital Street No: 14/3
Mugla, Turkey
Tel: 90-536-525-8444

Many factors may affect the preparation of the deceased’s remains for return to the United States. Because of these many variables, it is best to not make unchangeable plans for ceremonies and other events until the funeral home you are working with can provide a firm timetable.

Here are some estimates of the time various steps of the process may take.

  • Turkish law requires that all foreigners who die in Turkey in the absence of a witness undergo an autopsy to determine the official cause of death. Autopsies usually take 24 hours to complete, after which the remains are prepared for shipment to a local funeral home. It takes Turkish officials three to six months to issue the final autopsy results.
  • Delivery to a funeral home, embalming, and the preparation of remains for shipment abroad may take several days, depending on the location of the remains and the schedule of the funeral home.
  • The police may withhold permission to embalm for as long as necessary if they believe the death was as the result of a crime which they need to investigate.
  • Embalmed remains must be transported as cargo, and require processing by the local funeral home and various Turkish offices. Shipping arrangements may take as long as three days.
  • Embalmed remains must be received by a licensed mortician at the airport in the United States. If a contracted U.S. funeral home is unable to meet a flight, the shipment must be delayed so that it arrives in the U.S. at a time when the mortician can meet the incoming flight.
  • In some cases, no space may be available on outgoing flights for embalmed remains.
  • The Embassy or Consulate can typically prepare the paperwork necessary to export the remains within one business day, following receipt of proper documentation from the next of kin.

Direct Transfer to the Funeral Home: If relatives or friends in the United States will bear the associated costs, the quickest means of transmission is to make arrangements directly with the funeral home to transfer funds electronically. Contact the Turkish funeral home directly for details.

Transfer via the Department of State: If a direct transfer to the funeral home in Turkey is not possible, the Office of Overseas Citizens Services (OCS) of the Department of State in Washington, D.C. may assist. To send funds via the Department of State, please call 1-888-407-4747 or 1-202-647-5225 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (EST) Monday through Friday. At all other times call 202-647-4000. The Department charges a $30 processing fee for transfers via the Department of State.

Communicating Your Decision on Disposition of Remains

Once you, the next of kin, have made a decision, you must send us a Letter of Instruction (PDF 8 KB).  To ensure that your wishes are carried out completely, please send your instructions regarding the disposition of your loved one’s remains and personal effects by email or fax and courier to the U.S. Embassy Ankara, the U.S. Consulate General Istanbul, or the U.S. Consulate Adana (Contact information). Your instructions should give the deceased’s full name, telephone numbers where you may be reached and, if shipment of remains is desired, the name, address, telephone number, fax number, and email address of the U.S. funeral home you have selected to handle arrangements. Use this form to prepare the Letter of Instruction (PDF 8 KB).

COVID-19 or Other Communicable Diseases Deaths

CDC requirements for importing human remains depend upon if the body has been embalmed, cremated, or if the person died from a quarantinable communicable disease.

At this time, COVID-19 is a quarantinable communicable disease in the United States and the remains must meet the standards for importation found in 42 Code of Federal Regulations Part 71.55 and may be cleared, released, and authorized for entry into the United States only under the following conditions:

  • The remains are cremated; OR
  • The remains are properly embalmed and placed in a hermetically sealed casket; OR
  • The remains are accompanied by a permit issued by the CDC Director. The CDC permit (if applicable) must accompany the human remains at all times during shipment.

Permits for the importation of the remains of a person known or suspected to have died from a quarantinable communicable disease may be obtained through the CDC Division of Global Migration and Quarantine by calling the CDC Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100 or emailing

Please see CDC’s guidance for additional information.