Cemevi in Istanbul attacked

Cemevi in Istanbul attacked

Cemevi in Istanbul attacked

Unknown assailants attacked a cemevi, an Alevi house of worship, in Istanbul on Nov. 9 and attempted to set the building on fire.

Rocks were thrown at the Habibler Cemevi in the Sultangazi district at around 6 p.m., breaking its windows.

The assailants then threw a burning plastic bucket inside the building through the broken windows and the flames from the bucket set the carpets on fire, which were extinguished by cemevi personnel.

No one was injured in the incident and police units arrived at the scene to carry out examinations.

Police launched efforts to apprehend those involved in the attack.

Speaking about the incident, cemevi official Haydar Karatekin said there was no one inside the building at the time.

“The door was locked. When we entered, we saw the carpets were on fire. We immediately extinguished the fire and notified the police. We also noticed a small bucket filled with some type of liquid,” Karatekin told Doğan News Agency on Nov. 9.

“We will continue our path without falling [victim] to the provocations and harming our unity and solidarity,” said Habibler Cemevi head Orhan Satılmış, in response to the incident.

Another name who condemned the attack was Zeynel Odabaş from the Alevi-Bektashi Federation (ABF).

“We won’t fall into this trap. We, as Alevis, won’t allow those trying to harm our path, country, unity and solidarity by owning up to democracy, the republic, secularity, the flag and the country just like we have been doing,” Odabaş said, adding that the mentality that attacked the cemevi belongs to barbaric people and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“We won’t allow our people to be led in the wrong [direction] with conspiracies plotted by ISIL and the barbaric mentalities between the Alevis and Sunnis,” he also said.