The two cemeteries founded by Dutch traders in Turkey are strongly linked to families like De Hochepied, Leidstar and Van Lennep. They not only represented the Netherlands but also did good business with their trading houses. They intermarried and were buried in the Dutch cemeteries in Smyrna or Istanbul. It is not surprising that after a few centuries the families were more internationally oriented than they were Dutch.
After it was no longer possible to bury in the old cemetery, the Dutch community in Smyrna (present Izmir) opened its own section at the larger European cemetery in the east of the city. This part was named "Felemenk Bahçe" or Flemish garden. Not that the garden was Flemish, but the name stood for the Low Countries, as Belgica was used in Latin to indicate the Low Countries.
Trade brought the Dutch to many countries in the world, Turkey was no exception. Traditionally, trade with the Ottoman Empire was mainly through the Byzantines who considered themselves invincible in their capital Constantinople. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Dutch themselves established diplomatic relations with the Ottoman Empire.
In Izmir, formerly Smyrna, there are still several Christian cemeteries and a Jewish cemetery to this day. Until the beginning of the twentieth century there were a number of neighborhoods in the city for Greeks, Armenians, 'Franks' , Jews and Turks, all of whom had their own cemeteries. The oldest cemeteries were closed down early in the eighteenth century due to urban expansion. On the west side of the city there were large Jewish and Muslim cemeteries and on the east side were three European cemeteries. These could be found until the thirties of the twentieth century at one of the bridges over the river Meles, which gave access to Smyrna on the east side. This so-called caravan bridge has now disappeared and nowhere in the area is there anything to be found of a cemetery. There is still a Jewish cemetery in the area. The current Christian cemeteries are to be found further from ancient Smyrna, including in Buca, Bornova and in Karabağlar, on the road to Gazimir. There are burials to this day. Here are also some graves of the Dutch family Dutilh, a trading family that has continued to live in Izmir.
The Dutch deceased and their funerary monuments that can be found in the cemetery of Feriköy today do not only come from Istanbul and the surrounding area. Between 1965 and 1974, tombstones from the Protestant cemetery in Izmir were transferred to Feriköy. This was done to ensure that the tombstones in Izmir would not be destroyed by vandalism. Some of the stones were also brought to the cemetery in Izmir, but apparently there was no place for all the stones there.
Aerssen Beijeren van Voshol, Joost Peter baron van, RMWO, RNL etc. (minister-resident of the Netherlands in Lisbon), born 07-11-1817 in Zwolle, died 20-08-1857 in Sintra (P), son of Albrecht Nicolaas van AB van V and Elisabeth Catharina Greven. Married 12-12-1853 in Parijs to Anna Maria Sutton, born 1823, died 22-03-1909, daughter of Robert Nassau (son of 1st baronet Sutton) and Mary Georgiana Manners Sutton (grave 1040.C.3.2).
One of the oldest surviving cemeteries for the Dutch in Europe is without a doubt the Dutch Cemetery in Lisbon, today - irony of fate - better known as the British Cemetery. Founded in 1724 on the edge of the former city, the originally Protestant cemetery is now located almost in the center on the north side of the beautiful nineteenth-century park Jardim de Estrela, opposite the rococo basilica of the same name. Once through the gate in the high wall, you imagine yourself in a romantic past, in an oasis of peace, where countless plants and tall trees fight for existence between the sagging monuments of hundreds of years ago.