‘Cemevi with mosque’ project starts amid protests in Ankara
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Labor Minister Faruk Çelik and Cem Foundation President İzzettin Doğan free pigeons at the ceremony. AA photoAnkara police intervened in a group of protesters in Ankara during the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the first ever cultural center containing an Alevi cemevi and a Sunni mosque side by side.
The Mamak Mosque and Cemevi is planned to be a first in Turkey, but a group opposing the project blocked the path to the ceremony and built a barricade.
The group did not disperse, despite police calls, and threw stones at the Alevi Cem Foundation’s bus, reports said. Riot police then used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the group.
Labor Minister Faruk Çelik, President of Alevi CEM Foundation İzzettin Doğan, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Ankara deputy Sinan Aygün, and a number of Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies attended the ceremony.
The project, which is the first of its kind in modern Turkish history, is expected to be completed within a year and opened in the Alevis’ holy month according to the Islamic lunar calendar.