The Turkish cemeteries for the kimsesiz (literally, people who have no one) are graveyards where the state buries the bodies of those people who remain unidentified or unclaimed after a certain period of time. In practice, they are burial sites for the social outcast, namely homeless and underclass people, victims of honor crimes, disowned members of blood families, premature babies, and more recently, unaccompanied refugees. They also contain the bodies of political detainees who have been “disappeared” under police interrogation and state violence, along with radical leftists and Kurdish guerrillas deemed “unidentified.” This article focuses on the cemetery for the kimsesiz in Kilyos, Istanbul in order to discuss the spatial ordering of death in the margins of social and political life in Turkey. These margins may be ethnic, religious, sectarian, or economic as well as gendered or sexed and sometimes medical. A close focus on this mortal topography of margins demonstrates the state's complicated relationship with the category of kimsesiz and the limits of social legibility and belonging in Turkey.

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