Alevis voice concern over new Constituion

Alevis voice concern over new Constituion

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Alevis voice concern over new Constituion

Representatives of the Alevi Culture Associations are set to meet with all political parties to debate the shortcomings of the new Constitution on rights. DHA photo

A delegation from the Alevi Culture Associations has visited the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) where they voiced demands from the Alevi community concerning the making of a new Constitution.

President Doğan Demir, Secretary General Ahmet Doksöz and representatives from the branches of the Alevi Culture Associations met with the BDP’s deputy co-chairs Yüksel Mutlu and Meral Danış Beştaş yesterday. The meeting came at a critical time as related parties have been holding a heated debate on whether to submit the 48 articles, upon which the Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission has reached an agreement, for parliamentary approval as suggested by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) or instead to push further for a thoroughly new Constitution.

Discrimination against Alevis

Demir, speaking to reporters ahead of the meeting at the BDP headquarters, noted that they had requested meetings from all four parties of the parliament to convey their demands and said that the proposed changes in the 48 articles did not include any improvement to the demands of Alevis for rights and freedoms.

“Discrimination against Alevis in Turkey is very deep and old. It is at least as old as the Kurdish issue,” said Mutlu, while affirming that the BDP had proposed to create a new Constitution providing for equal citizenship for Alevis.

Mutlu stated that they would continue to struggle in order to assure the Alevis’ ability to express themselves, to give legal status to “cemevis,” the worship place of Alevis, alongside returning the properties of Alevis to their rightful owners and ensuring their freedom of religion, conscience and belief.

“In the days when we have moved to the second phase of the democratic solution to the Kurdish issue, we know that your visit is very important and contributing,” Mutlu added, in an implicit reference to the fact that some have voiced criticisms directed at the BDP for leaving the concerns of Alevis aside during the peace process aimed at ending the three-decade long conflict between Turkey’s security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Similarly, Beştaş stated “As a party participating in the conciliation commission, we are trying to be the voice of everyone who struggles in Turkey at that table.” She added that in the 48 articles, the “spine of a Constitution does not exist,” indicating that they remained inapt to deal with issues of fundamental rights and freedoms.