You Cannot Disregard Millions of Alevis!

alevi

Prime Minister Erdoğan once again has chosen  the Alevis as the Other , falsified the Alevi belief –as they are constitute a part of his constructed Other- and disregarded their claims for “equal citizenship” instead of responding to the criticism raised by the German President Gauck earlier this week. Erdoğan, in his weekly parliamentary speech, stated that: “The Alevis in Germany neglects Ali, therefore making it an atheist practice, [under the notion of Alevi belief] and he [his government] supports this practice as well; he is trying to reflect this on us. Such Alevis do not exist in Turkey.”

Today’s Turkey, the motherland of Alevis, still disregards the needs of the Alevi peoples where as many countries worldwide including Germany recognize Alevi peoples and their religion; Alevis in these countries, which are descendant of the migrating worker families and their religious rights are protected by law. The Alevis living across Europe have organized themselves under the umbrella of the European Alevi Union Confederation, pursued their struggle and have set up 253 cem evi (Alevi house of worship) and cultural centers to practice their religion.

In order to rescue himself from the bashing of the world leaders and politicians, the prime ministers should recognize the political demands of the Alevis to recognize the religious status of cem evi, abolish the mandatory classes on religion, return the religious places to the Alevis, turn Madımak Hotel into a museum and abolish the Department of Religious Affairs.

Turkey, the motherland to thousands of different ethnic groups and religions, should recognize the equal right to practice religion for all religious and spiritual groups. It is only possible for peoples to coexist freely and as equals where no one disregards the others. Peoples’ Democratic Party recognizes the existence of all different religious groups in Turkey and embodies the struggle of the Alevis as one of its own: “It is a right to be an Alevi, the Alevis exist!” HDP deems reminding the Prime Minister Erdoğan that he should recognize the Alevis and their demands one of its responsibilities.

Hatice Altınışık
HDP Vice Co-Chair
April 30, 2014

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