Seven Alevi organizations issue statement with a “Call for living together in fairness”

TURKEY – Several Alevi representative organizations published a statement in which they called on the Turkish government, ministries, state institutions, mayors and the democratic public opinion to step up to the protection of the rights of Alevis in equality to all peoples that live in Turkey and to strengthen the indispensable sense of justice and the right to be able to live together in a democratic country. In the statement the Alevi organizations emphasize that solutions need to be proposed and measures need to be taken which are morally fair and conscientious for Alevi citizens to be able to live a free and undiscriminating life in Turkey.

The Alevis are one of the people in Turkey that had to suffer from religious extremism and suppression as a Muslim sect – the majority of Muslims in Turkey is Sunni. Alevis face difficulties in practicing their form of Islamic religion in Turkey (the Alevi houses of worship are not officially recognized as such in Turkey) as they are often seen as others and not fully accepted by Turkish mainstream society. They have suffered from several attacks and massacres, for example the attack and burning of a hotel in 1993 in Sivas where educated Alevis had gathered. 37 Alevis died in the fire. Alevis have struggled for many decades to be recognized as a distinct people with an own identity, religion and related rights. An estimated 14 million Alevis live in Turkey.

The Avrupa Alevi Birlikleri Konfederasyonu, Alevi Bektaşi Federasyonu, Alevi Dernekleri Federasyonu, Alevi Kültür Dernekleri, Demokratik Alevi Dernekleri, Hacı Bektaş Anadolu Kültür Vakfı ve Pir Sultan Abdal Kültür Derneği’ issued the statement under the header “Call for living together in fairness”;

“The right to live is a conscientious responsibility that humans and states must protect. This responsibility strengthens people’s efforts to live together… Humans have made sense of life through moral and conscientious values.

States’ moral and rightful truth is based in the rule of law and in the relations between its citizens. It is the basis that empowers the State and its regard of citizenship. It empowers people to live together and for the state to interact with its citizens. And the rule of law legitimizes the state and enables the state to produce social services with the means given to it.

…The state cannot have a religious, cultural, economic and ideological bias against its citizens because states are born, grow, live, die but their legacy is a legacy of the conscience. If this legacy of the conscience is not inherited, no one will take over the inheritance. Therefore, the State must be fair to all its Citizens.”…