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DISPOSITION OF REMAINS

This document provides information relating to funeral services and burial options available in Cyprus, as well as information on the repatriation of remains to the U.S.  Additionally, the American Citizens Services may be reached through e-mail at ACSNicosia@state.gov.

 

Religious Services

The following churches conduct services in English and are attended by the American and other communities: Nicosia Community Church (Interdenominational Protestant), St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church, Interdenominational Congregation (Russian Cultural Center Building), The Church of Jesus Christ (L.D.S.), St. Columbus (UN inter-denominational). There is also a Roman Catholic mass held at the U.N. chapel on Saturdays at 1800, and Protestant services at 1000 Sunday mornings. Greek language masses are not given in modern Greek and may be difficult to understand for Greek speakers. The Jewish community numbers about 200, and a synagogue was established in Larnaca in 2005. All licensed funeral homes should be able to contact all available churches in their area.

Maximum Period Before Burial

Cypriot law does not require a maximum period of time before remains must be buried.

Caskets and Containers

When looking for caskets and containers that meet the requirements for shipment out of the country check local funeral homes.  Caskets and containers are hermetically sealed (the casket is zinc-lined or has cad seal (foil – accepted by all airlines)) when remains are to be shipped out of the country.  If the deceased is known or suspected to have had a communicable disease, the casket is labeled accordingly to alert the receiving funeral director of the need to take appropriate hygienic measures.  All documents accompanying the remains also describe the fact or possibility that the deceased died of a communicable disease.

 

Embalming

Even though embalming is not required by law and generally is not done for local burials, it is recommended if the funeral and burial occur a week after the remains are released to the next of kin. Embalming can be done by state hospitals but is most commonly done by private funeral homes. Embalming is required for remains being shipped out of the country.

 

Autopsies

Autopsies are required by law if the deceased died under unusual circumstances, as required by Section 4 of the Coroner’s Law (CAP 153). The family of the deceased may request an autopsy to be performed by a state hospital. Autopsy may only be carried out by a funeral home if a private doctor is brought in. Request needs to come from the family to the police if they wish a postmortem, if a doctor has issued a cause of death certificate that the family do not agree.

 

Cremation

Cypriot law does not address the issue of cremation, but cremation is not legal in Cyprus.

 

Burial in the Republic of Cyprus

Funeral services vary depending on the casket chosen but generally total €2000. There is an extra charge for digging a grave in a Greek Orthodox cemetery and lowering the casket into the grave, that would vary from village to village.

 

Burial in the areas administered by Turkish Cypriots (North Cyprus)

Total cost is around 2500 Turkish Lira if the remains are buried in a plain wooden coffin, which is customary. Cremation is not practiced in the areas administered by Turkish Cypriots.

 

Shipment of Remains to the United States

Embalming and local preparation cost around €2600, plus flight but will vary depending on the casket selection, the weight of the container, and the location of shipment. Costs in dollar amount can vary with the current exchange rate for the Euro or Turkish Lira.

 

Exhumation and Shipment

A court order is necessary for any exhumation. There is no statutory time period before which exhumation is prohibited. Exhumation is generally carried out in the presence of a medical officer who has been given at least four days prior notice. The remains are placed in a lead- or zinc-lined coffin which is hermetically sealed at the grave site. The coffin containing the remains must generally be exported within three days from the date of exhumation. Costs are approximately equal to those listed in the preceding paragraph.

 

Remarks

By law, all licensed funeral homes should have private mortuary.

 

Notes on Northern Cyprus

The northern third of the island of Cyprus is administered by Turkish Cypriots. The Turkish Cypriot community is predominantly Sunni Muslim. There are no funeral homes. Funeral and burial arrangements are performed by municipal authorities, and burial typically takes place the same day the remains are released from a hospital or morgue.

The cost for funeral services and burial is approximately 2500 Turkish Lira. These costs can be significantly higher if the burial is not performed on the day the remains are released, owing to the necessity of a zinc-lined coffin.

Autopsies are required if an individual dies unexpectedly or under questionable circumstances and are performed at hospitals and municipal morgues.

Cremation is not permitted in the North of Cyprus. Remains that have been buried may be exhumed at any time with a court order.

If remains are to be prepared from shipment to the United States, a hospital will perform embalming, and the “Ministry of Health” will issue a certificate of embalming.  The local death certificate will be issued by the “Ministry of Interior.”  Municipal authorities typically arrange for a local carpenter to construct a very simple zinc-lined wooden coffin; however, funeral homes in the Republic of Cyprus have prepared remains for shipment if the family of the deceased prefers that.

 

Funeral Homes

Reputable funeral homes will take care of all local arrangements, including local burials and all preparations for repatriation of remains to the United States.  If repatriation of remains is desired, the funeral home can be expected to embalm the remains, appropriately seal the casket and container, coordinate with the Ministry of Health for required export permits, coordinate with air cargo handlers, and transport the container to the international airport.  Reputable funeral homes will perform these services.  The local funeral home also will coordinate with the funeral home in the United States for receipt of remains. Official death certificates for USA need to be apostilled.

DISCLAIMER:  The United States Embassy Nicosia, Cyprus assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms.  Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance.  Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the funeral directors, morticians and other service providers.

 

Privately owned and operated funeral homes in the Republic of Cyprus include the following:

 

Angel Guardians Funeral Home, 24 Apostolou Pavlou Avenue, 8046 Paphos, Cyprus

Tel: 357 26 222993, Cell 357 96783112

E-mail: info@angelguardiansfuneralhome.com

Webpage: http://angelguardiansfuneralhome.com/

 

Archangel Funeral Service, 32 Navarinou Street, PO Box 53528, 3303 Limassol, Cyprus

Tel: 357 25 748181, Fax 357 25 747989, Cell 357 99 451750

E-mail: archangel@logosnet.cy.net

 

Ayios Petros (Ms. Lenia Philippidou), 111 Larnaca Road, 1046 Nicosia, Cyprus

Tel: 357 22-34-7322, Cell 357-99-65-1432, 357-99-65-1434, 357-99-48-9911

E-mail: ayiospp@spidernet.com.cy

Webpage: https://www.ayiospetrosfuneralhome.com/

 

G & P Melas Funeral Directors, 8 Aglantzias Avenue, 2108 Nicosia, Cyprus

Tel: 357-22-253010 Fax: 357-22-253014, Cell: 357-99-447323,

E-mail: info@melasfunerals.com

 

Othello Funeral Home, 44 Dimitri Vikella Ave, 2036 Strovolos, Cyprus

Tel: 357-22-44-2600, Fax: 357-22-31-4788, Cell: 357-99-60-6601

E-mail: Othello@cytanet.com.cy

 

Ministry of Health in northern Cyprus:  Phone +90 392 227 75 78 / 228 31 73

North Cyprus Nicosia Burial Services : Phone +90 392 223 20 30