Suburban mother upset cemetery holding movie night on grounds where her son is buried

A northwest suburban mother is upset with plans by the cemetery where her son is buried to hold a public movie night on its grounds.

Leyla Durmus’ son, Kaya Dikmenli, died on Christmas Eve in 2016.

The 21-year-old, like thousands of others across the country, had been battling an addiction to opiates. He was buried at the Memory Gardens Cemetery in Arlington Heights.

“He was a miracle baby,” Durmus said. “He went to rehab and finally admitted he had a problem. … (He) lasted eight days after he got out.”

Erik Burckle’s family is buried at the cemetery, as well. 

“My mother was just recently buried here last April. … I have numerous extended family here,” he said.

Burckle, Durmus, and their friends are not happy that the cemetery is holding what it calls a free community night, showing “The Raiders of the Lost Ark” on its grounds.

The cemetery, through a spokesman, issued a statement addressing the opposition.

“The movie night planned at Memory Gardens Cemetery is one of many ways we support the local Arlington Heights community throughout the year. In the past when we’ve hosted similar events at other cemeteries in the Chicago area, we’ve received a very positive response from residents and built great relationships in our local community,” the statement reads.

“Our intent in hosting these types of events for those with loved ones interred at our cemetery and members of the Arlington Heights community is to serve as a gathering place and to foster a sense of community among Arlington Heights residents. … We apologize for any misunderstanding and encourage anyone with concerns to contact us directly.”

Proceeds were to benefit the Arlington Heights Historical Museum.

However, Durmus remained unmoved.

“If this is an ongoing thing move my son? Maybe,” she said.