If you will be arranging a burial in Greece, you can use this article to find out what you need to do. It covers:
- What to do in the first 24 hours
- What documents you need for a burial
- Where to find Muslim funeral services
If you have any more questions about this process, please do not hesitate to message us on Facebook. We will do our best to get you answers as soon as possible.
What should I do if my loved one dies in Greece?
If your loved one dies in Greece, a doctor should issue a medical certificate of death within 24 hours of the time of death. You will need this certificate.
If your loved one dies at a hospital, a hospital doctor will issue the medical certificate of death. If your loved one dies outside a hospital, relatives or friends should call a doctor, who will issue a medical certificate of death.
How can I call a doctor?
You can call the Greek emergency number 166 (EKAB, in Greek). An ambulance will come and take the body to the on-duty hospital, where doctors will certify the death.
In case forensic and identification procedures are needed, local authorities will step in, with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Once I have the medical certificate of death, what should I do next?
You should take the doctor’s medical certificate of death to the Registry Office of the municipality where you live. The municipality will issue you an official death certificate, which you will need for all burial procedures.
What documents do I need to take to the Registry Office?
You need to have:
- The medical certificate of death, signed by a doctor
- Any proof of identity of the deceased
- Any proof of identity for you, as the person who registers the death (either Registration card, Residence Permit, refugee Travel Document or national passport)
- The AFM number of the deceased
- The AMKA number of the deceased
If any of the above documents are missing, the municipality might ask you to bring some alternative documents, or it might just make a note on the official death certificate.
How will the burial be arranged?
- Burials take place in municipal or communal cemeteries in Greece.
- The burial must take place at least 12 hours after the time of death.
- The municipality decides when and where each burial is held. It attaches this information to the official death certificates it issues.
Will the burial ceremony be conducted according to my religion?
Even though everyone has the legal right to burial in municipal or communal cemeteries regardless of religion or nationality, in practice, the deceased person’s religion might complicate things, as there are no civil funerals in Greece.
For Muslim people, specifically, it is impossible for a burial to take place in most municipal cemeteries. Additionally, in Greece, cemeteries usually remove human remains cemeteries 3 years after the burial, which is not in line with Islam.
The most common practice for Muslims is to get in contact with the Muftis in Comotene or Xanthi, cities in northern Greece where a Muslim community lives and Muslim cemeteries exist.
For the Mufti in Comotene, call: +302531026771. For the Mufti in Xanthi, call: +302541023288
Can I ask for the burial to happen in my country of origin?
For repatriation of the deceased person’s body, relatives or close friends must contact the country’s embassy in Greece. Every country has different requirements and costs for transferring human bodies.
If you are a refugee or asylum-seeker, you may wish to contact a lawyer about whether it's safe for you to enter your country's embassy.