Alevis to hold massive rally on Feb 8 in Istanbul
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Alevi community leader voice their demands, such as the recognition of Cemevis as the official Alevi house of worship and the removal of compulsory religious courses. during their meeting. AA PhotoSeveral leading Alevis associations have decided to hold a large rally in Istanbul on Feb. 8.
The decision to hold the rally was made in a meeting of the Alevi Bektaşi Federation, the Alevi Foundations Federation, and the Alevi Associations Federation, under the title “Alevi Unity Solidarity Meeting” in Istanbul on Jan. 4.
In addition, the group decided to hold meetings with the government and political parties, in an attempt to voice their demands and make sure that their demands are included in these parties’ election campaign bids in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in June.
During his speech atthe meeting, Alevi Bektaşi Federation head Fevzi Gümüş emphasized the importance of secularism to Alevis, surrounded by a Sunni-dominated society in Turkey.
He reiterated the Alevi community’s demands, such as the recognition of Cemevis as the official Alevi house of worship, the removal of compulsory religious courses and ending the building of mosques in villages populated by Alevis.
“For Alevis, secularism means freedom of faith and worship for everyone, although the government treats it as an outdated phenomenon,” said Gümüş.
Claiming that the Turkish state is being ruled with an exclusively "Sunni understanding of Islam," Gümüş said Alevis do not want any privileges, only for discrimination to be ended.