Alevis rally in Turkish capital against jihadist attacks
Members of a group of Alevi associations gathered in Ankara to protest the ISIL violence and compulsory religion classes, Oct. 12. AA PhotoMembers of a group of Alevi associations gathered in the Turkish capital Ankara on Oct. 12 to hold a rally to protest jihadist violence launched by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants, as well as compulsory religions classes in Turkey.
Some deputies from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) also joined the rally in Sıhhiye Square.
Delivering a speech at the rally, Turgut Öken, the head of the European Confederation of Alevi Associations, voiced support for those who were resisting ISIL.
For his part, Doğan Demir, the head of Alevi Culture Associations, underlined fraternity between Sunni and Alevi people.
“We also have our Sunni siblings here at our rally. We would not be able to live in this country if we didn’t have Sunnis,” Demir said.
Turkey’s Alevis, a heterodox Islamic sect with loose ties to Shiite Islam, are regarded by ISIL as infidels. The Alevi community in the country complains of marginalization under the conservative Sunni leadership of now-President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been in power since 2002.