Funeral prayer held for Turkish volunteer Zengindemir in Oklahoma City

The director of the Raindrop Turkish House in Oklahoma City, Murat Zengindemir, who drowned last Thursday, was buried on July 28. (Photo: Onur Kaya, Cihan)
The director of the Raindrop Turkish House in Oklahoma City, Murat Zengindemir, who drowned last Thursday, was buried on July 28. (Photo: Onur Kaya, Cihan)


Date posted: July 31, 2013

Murat Zengindemir, the 34-year-old director of Raindrop Turkish House in Oklahoma City who drowned on Thursday, was buried on July 28 after a funeral prayer service at the An-Nasr Mosque.

The accident occurred on Thursday, July 25, when Zengindemir took his daughter Ayça for a swim. Zengindemir was taken to Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, where he later died.

A memorial ceremony for Zengindemir was held at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City followed by the funeral prayer at the mosque. Among the attendees were the state governor’s daughter Christina Fallin; Edmond Public Schools Superintendent David Goin; Holy Temple Baptist Church’s pastor, Dr. George Young; the Oklahoma Gazette’s president, Bill Bleakley; and the Kirkpatrick Foundation’s executive director Louisa McCune-Elmore as well as Zengindemir’s colleagues, friends and family.

Speaking after the funeral prayer, the imam of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City said: “We gather here to fulfill our last duty to our brother in faith. We will always remember him with his smiling face and kindness.”

During the memorial ceremony, a message sent by Oklahoma State Governor Mary Fallin was read. “I am so saddened to learn of the passing of Murat. Although his time on Earth was short, he leaves a lasting impact upon the state of Oklahoma with his cheerful and kind heart. He worked tirelessly to foster a better understanding of different cultures and the importance of building relationships. I always enjoyed seeing him and appreciated his support not only of me but also for the Turkish community in Oklahoma.

I know he leaves behind a wonderful wife, Sevda, and beautiful daughter Ayça. My heart goes out to them. May God bring comfort and peace to his family and many, many friends. I will keep them in my prayers.”

In addition to the police escort consisting of four police cars allocated by Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel, who was a close friend of Zengindemir, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Chief Kerry Pettingill also tasked four police motorcyclists to accompany the procession.

Zengindemir was then buried at Mercy Cemetery.

Describing Zengindemir as a good friend, McCune-Elmore said: “Murat Zengindemir was an Oklahoma City leader whose representation of Turkish culture made our community a stronger and more compassionate place. He was an important and steady presence in community development, always sharing his gifts and skills for the greater good.

Murat embodied the values that both Turkey and Oklahoma prize: hard work, an extended hand, good humor and hospitality. His daily efforts to bring peace and well-being to our citizens were heroic. Murat was an ethical man with a high moral standard, and we should all strive to be as he was. We grieve with his wife and child, and we grieve for them.”

Goin underlined that Zengindemir’s activities as a supporter of the Raindrop Turkish House in Oklahoma City strengthened cross-cultural friendships and understanding within their community. “He will be remembered lovingly and missed greatly. Our prayers go out especially to his family and friends,” he added.

Young also expressed his grief for Zengindemir’s passing: “God is good and now we must each decide to honor this life with a concentrated effort to do more to make unity a reality. As a former president of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, I am well aware of the effort needed to bring together individuals to share around common goals and so our loss of Murat has caused me to re-evaluate not only what I am doing but what more can I do to bring about some stronger ties because of his life. His work and life will not be forgotten.”

Orhan Küçükosman, the Turkish American Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman in Texas, noted: “Although it has been only two years since Zengindemir and his family moved to Oklahoma, his active and loving personality has touched many peoples’ lives in Oklahoma City over the last couple of years. This is why not only [the] Turkish community in Oklahoma City but also many American people and officials attended the funeral ceremony for Murat.”

Source: Today's Zaman , 30 July 2013


Related News

A Personal Story from Turkey: I am a “Man of Law” Not a Terrorist!

I am a lawyer, I am man of law but according to President Erdogan I am a “terrorist” who attempted for a coup! I am writing this letter from a city in Eastern Europe as I had to run away from persecution. Just after my departure on 22 July, Turkish police arrived at my house but could not find me. Instead, with the intention to bring me out they have decided to detain my mother who is 86 years old and can barely walk.

Turks living in Britain see it as their duty to integrate

For a long time, Turks have been a largely invisible minority group in Britain. But thanks to those campaigning for a British exit from the European Union who have argued that Turks are a national security threat, and those warning that 12m Turks want to come to Britain if Turkey becomes an EU member state, […]

PM’s son: Dad, let’s initiate an operation against Hizmet’s senior members

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son Bilal allegedly urged his father to trigger an operation to detain prominent figures of the Hizmet movement in response to an ongoing graft and bribery investigation implicating Erdoğan, his family members and a number of ministers and businessmen close to him.

Gulen movement sympathizers committed to interfaith dialogue, charity and nonviolence

George Mason University professor, Jack Goldstone, shares his view of Fethullah Gulen and Gulen Movement. Goldstone says he is particularly glad that Gulen has such a remarkable influence over his sympathizers who are committed to the promotion of interfaith dialogue, charity and nonviolence. Speaking of Gulen’s anti-violence stance, Goldstone recalls Gulen’s touching statement, as he […]

What is lacking in democratization package is democracy itself

This time’s so-called democratization package to soon be submitted to Parliament is an overt effort to make judicial proceedings nearly impossible if the consent of a governor or one of their deputies has not been granted. A prosecutor who wants to start an operation will first go to the governor (read: the government) in order to get a license to use law enforcement bodies in any sort of operation. This move is not only against democratic norms and the principles of transparency and the rule of law, but is also a clear reflection of a defensive mechanism in light of mounting corruption and graft claims surrounding senior government officials.

Police raid prominent journalists’ foundation GYV in Turkey

GYV’s members strongly protested the police measure. Underlining that the raid violated standard protocol, high-ranking GYV official Recep Usta expressed; “the protocol states that VGM technical teams can come to the building and conduct examinations; and should they find any violation, a period of a month is granted to us [to fix any issues].

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

ICG report praises reformist role Hizmet plays in [Kurdish] settlement process

GYV hosts guests from Istanbul’s Armenian Patriarchate at Abraham’s table

The witch-hunt reaches Turkey’s media

Mongolian teacher Galimbek’s message

Journalist reveals MGK decision to fight against all religious groups

Unity in diversity

Gülen issues condolence message for Iraqi victims of ISIL

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News