A British grandfather whose ashes were sprinkled at his beloved holiday spot in Turkey has been pictured and named.

Nathan Jon ‘Vodkaman’ Leonard, 43, sadly passed away on April 3 last year with pneumonia, COVID and a heart attack.

On Monday, his family scattered his ashes on at the Uzunyalı beach in Marmaris, Turkey as a touching tribute.

However, the ceremony also shocked locals as cremation is not legal in the country, sparking a health alert.

Nathan Jon 'Vodkaman' Leonard, 43, (pictured) sadly passed away on April 3 last year

Nathan Jon ‘Vodkaman’ Leonard, 43, (pictured) sadly passed away on April 3 last year

Nathan Leonard's ashes were poured into the sea at his favourite spot in Turkey in a touching ceremony by his family and friends

Nathan Leonard’s ashes were poured into the sea at his favourite spot in Turkey in a touching ceremony by his family and friends

Mr Leonard was born in Hull on February 19, 1980 to Peter and Mandy Leonard, who he also lived with

Mr Leonard was born in Hull on February 19, 1980 to Peter and Mandy Leonard, who he also lived with

Mr Leonard's family and friends spreading his ashes in the sea, which sparked a health warning in Turkey

Mr Leonard’s family and friends spreading his ashes in the sea, which sparked a health warning in Turkey

Mr Leonard was born in Hull on February 19, 1980 to Peter and Mandy Leonard, who he also lived with.

He had two daughters, Talia and Dakota, with Fiona Fielding and he also had a granddaughter, Dolce.

The grandfather also sometimes worked at Bar X in Marmaris, Turkey.

Following his passing, Ms Fielding wrote in April last year: ‘My heart is absolutely broken for my two girls Talia Leonard, Dakota Leonard and my granddaughter Dolce on the sad loss of their dad and grandad Nathan Leonard.

‘My heart is with your mam and dad Mandy Leonard and Peter and the rest of your family sleep peacefully Nathan and thank you our beautiful girls.’

The grandfather also sometimes worked at Bar X in Marmaris, Turkey. The country was described as his 'happy place'

The grandfather also sometimes worked at Bar X in Marmaris, Turkey. The country was described as his ‘happy place’

Mr Leonard's family triggered a health alert in Turkey after wading into the sea to scatter the ashes

Mr Leonard’s family triggered a health alert in Turkey after wading into the sea to scatter the ashes

His mother, Mandy, said: ‘Well, I know my son Nathan (vodka man) was love of my life. Now he is on the Marmaris news because he is in his happy place.

‘Our hearts are broken, Nathan Leonard fought till the end with pneumonia, covid and heart attack 19.02.1980 – 03.04.2023 love you always son.’

Mr Leonard’s family triggered a health alert in Turkey after wading into the sea to scatter the ashes.

Health authorities in Marmaris, on the southern Aegean Coast, began a hasty investigation and took water samples following backlash from concerned locals about Monday’s ceremony.

Swimmers warned that the spreading of ashes in popular waters near the beach could endanger health, prompting an urgent response from the regional District Health Directorate.

Cremation is not legal in Turkey and restrictions are in place to limit bringing ashes into the country.

The family of Mr Leonard scatter the ashes of their late relative at Uzunyalı beach

The family of Mr Leonard scatter the ashes of their late relative at Uzunyalı beach

The touching tribute organised by family and friends of the late Briton, per Turkish media

The touching tribute organised by family and friends of the late Briton, per Turkish media

The water tests arranged by local authorities were not directly related, and there is no immediate health risk posed by ashes in the sea. 

However, restrictions on scattering ashes in Turkey have caused significant upset for travellers in the past.

British forum users have described the drawn-out process of working through Turkish and British bureaucracy to get permission to organise a send-off.

Robin, writing on the Sue Ryder bereavement support charity forum, said it took them nearly two years to get permission from all the relevant authorities to scatter their wife’s ashes.

‘My wife always loved Turkey from the first time we went there 40 years ago… so it was a no brainer where she would want to be at rest,’ they wrote.

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‘Unfortunately it’s never that simple. 

‘It took me nearly two years to get permissions set up with UK airport, airline, Turkish airport, Turkish Government, Turkish Local Council Officials, Main Mosque Representatives, Turkish Police, and Local Port Authorities.’

Still, they said they were ultimately able to organise the journey, and that their ‘mind is at peace’ after being able to do ‘the last physical thing I could do for her’.

While some airlines do allow passengers to take ashes to Turkey in carry-on luggage, there remain restrictions in place for what people can do with them after landing.

Cremation is not legal in Turkey and there are no cremation facilities.

When a British person dies in Turkey, the British government advises, finding a local funeral director to arrange a burial, who ‘will be able to explain the local process’.

Turkey is a Muslim country, and while it is permissible for non-Muslims to be buried in line with their own burial practices within the country, cremation is not allowed under Islamic law.

The bereaved may also arrange the repatriation of the body home.

In 2022, cultural sensitivities on the matter were felt when a Turkish man was accidentally cremated in a hospital in Hannover.

The Uzunyal¿ beach in southwestern Turkey was a favourite place of the deceased

The Uzunyalı beach in southwestern Turkey was a favourite place of the deceased

Illustrative image shows Turunc Bay in Marmaris, one of many beautiful parts of the coastline

Illustrative image shows Turunc Bay in Marmaris, one of many beautiful parts of the coastline

Health authorities in Marmaris, on the southern Aegean Coast, began a hasty investigation and took water samples

Health authorities in Marmaris, on the southern Aegean Coast, began a hasty investigation and took water samples

The family of Abdülkadir Sargın, a Turkish citizen, were shocked when – during funeral preparations – they discovered the person in the coffin was a complete stranger.

71-year-old Sargın had died from a brain hemorrhage at the MHH hospital in Hannover.

His body was to be transported to a funeral company for an Islamic burial, upon the family’s request.

After the horror discovery, an intern at the hospital’s morgue admitted to having made a mistake and mixing up the bodies, per the Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper. 

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The family raised concerns about why the body had been cremated so soon after Sargın’s death, and local police launched an investigation.

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