One of the last thing you expect to see in the middle of a regular urban paved street is a grave complete with a large tombstone.
But that’s exactly what you’ll see when driving through Sivas, in central Turkey.
Yeni Mahalle Hamzaoğlu is one of the several streets that traverse the relatively new Şarkışla district but, at one point, motorists need to make sure that they don’t drive straight into a grave located right in the road.
It’s been there for several years now, but only recently gained national attention, after a variety of photos and drone footage on social media.
Even though the large tombstone has the inscription “Gariban Martyr Baba” etched into it, no one actually knows who it belongs to.
In order to build Şarkışla district, home owners in the area were expropriated, and it is believed that the mysterious grave was originally located in someone’s yard. But the reason the road was built around it instead of bypassing it by a few meters is another mystery.
The Headman of Kandemir Neighborhood, Ahmet Hark, told to a local newspaper that it was the stories surrounding the mysterious grave that convinced workers to leave it where it lay instead of relocating the remains in another place.
It is said that the person buried there appeared in the dreams of the last owners of the property it was located on, telling them that the grave was once a sacred altar. Apparently, the same thing allegedly happened to previous owners, so everyone just left the grave alone, including the workers who built the road.
Stories apart, locals believe that a martyr or a scholar was buried there, and some visit and bring flowers from time to time.
But, above all, the fact that it is located square in the middle of a road doesn’t seem to bother anyone.
Images from web – Google Research