Turkish Martyr’s corpse is moved in South Africa

  • Thu Nov 24th 2011

After 100 years one nation’s hero has been laid to rest. Mehmet Remzi Efendi – a decorated Ottoman Turkish diplomat – was appointed to the Ottoman Embassy in South Africa in April, 1914.

When World War I broke out later that year between Britain (the colonial ruler of South Africa at that time) and the Ottoman Empire, Mehmet Remzi’s embassy was closed. Mehmet Remzi and his family were reportedly forced to stay in South Africa due to the dangers of travel during wartime.

In 1916 Mehmet Remzi was arrested by the British on the suspicions that he was trying to organize the Zulu people of South Africa to rise up against the British. Mehmet Remzi was reportedly tortured for information. He died later that year in prison. Over the years visiting Turks – who consider Mehmet Remzi a national hero – have stated that Mehmet Remzi ought to be interned in a strickly Islamic burial ground.

Nizamiye Mosque Authority Mehmet Naci Kaya : " In 1914 Mehmet Remzi Efendi was appointed to the Ottoman Consulate in Johannesburg. Two years later he was arrested, tortured and died in prison. He was buried in Braamfontien Cemetery. Unfortunately because it was a time of war Mehmet Remzi Efendi’s family were unable to bring his corpse back to the Ottoman Empire. Close to 100 years later we have moved Mehmet Remzi Efendi’s body to the burial grounds of Nizamiye Mosque Complex and buried him here.He said.

Close to 100 years after his death and burial Mehmet Remzi’s remains were recently moved to a Turkish mosque in Johannesburg called Nizamiye Mosque. Mehmet Remzi’s remains were then buried in the official Islamic fashion.

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