In small settlements in particular, where traditions, customs and beliefs are more influential, death is a concept that reinforces social solidarity. Death, which is seen as a person's physical disappearance although he continues to live on in spirit, is generally a terrifying phenomenon.
With the subconscious pressure created by this fear, a number of events or manifestations are interpreted as omens of impending death, including unexpected forms of behaviour, objects being used in a particular way, meteorological events (a shooting star, thunder, northeast wind, etc.), the behaviour of animals and noises made by them (the howling of dogs, the hooting of owls, a rooster crowing at the wrong time, etc.), dreams (of coffins, wedding dresses, wedding-festivities, camels, houses being demolished, falling teeth, onions, pepper etc.), as well as physiological and psychological changes (someone's growing pale, an increase or decrease in appetite, staring fixedly at one point, etc.) in the sick person.
People tend to avoid events that are thought to trigger the process of death. Among the ways this is done is to slaughter the rooster that crows at an inappropriate time, giving some food that has prepared at home or bought outside to the poor if one sees a bad dream, describing that dream to water, waking up pregnant women or children if they are asleep when a dead person is taken away, emptying water cups in the home where there is a funeral, sweeping the home after the deceased has been taken away, turning cauldron in which the water used for washing the dead has been boiled upside down.
In beliefs of people, among symptoms that predict death, which related with animals have been taking a great and importantplace. Some talents of animals, which are absent in human beings, their power of intuition, physical characteristics, their consideration of being fortunate or ill-omened have been playing great role in creation of such beliefs and their reaching a universal line.
Basically there lays also the fear of death on the foundation ofa certain amount of beliefs which are accumulated around home, household, tool, apparatuses and food; and they have been qualified by people usually as symptoms of death. Most of these beliefs are completely different to what we in Western Cultures believe. Someone who was fairly new to the Turkish Muslim religion may consider their beliefs as rather strange, yet quite fascinating.
3 The first practices regarding sending the deceased off include washing the body and enshrouding it within fixed rules. If the deceased was a woman, she is washed by other women and by men if the dead person was male. Washers are experienced and well-versed in the rules. In villages, the body is washed inside the house or on a bench reserved for this purpose in the garden, and few people are allowed to be present. When the deceased is washed, the relatives pour a bowl of water over the body, give their consent and ask the deceased for whatever they have shared in the past.
In big cities, the deceased is washed in a room reserved for this purpose in the cemetery. The piece of cloth used as a shroud is always white. The shroud for women has more parts to it than that used for men. As a female corpse is wrapped in the shroud, henna (this may also be applied to her