Two detained for ‘Death to Alevis’ graffiti in Ankara
ANKARA – Doğan News AgencyTwo suspects have been detained in a police investigation into hate speech graffiti against Alevis that was written on the walls and doors of apartments in an Ankara neighborhood. Another suspect is still being sought, the police said.
Graffiti saying “Death to Alevis” appeared on the walls of some apartments in Ankara’s working-class neighborhood of Mamak four days ago. Police determined the identity of three suspects after analyzing video footage from cameras installed in the area.
The two suspects detained, M.Ü. and S.D., allegedly told police that they were also Alevis. “We did not write it with any purpose. We wrote it randomly. We don’t want to instigate an Alevi-Sunni confrontation,” both suspects said during their interrogation, according to Doğan news agency.
Tension among Alevis has risen during the Gezi Park protests in Ankara as an Alevi protester, Ethem Sarısülük, was killed after being shot by police. Three other protesters killed in the nationwide protests - Mehmet Ayvalıtaş, Abdullah Cömert and Ali İsmail Korkmaz - are also Alevis.
The community has also been incensed by a recent government decision to name Istanbul’s controversial third bridge after Yavuz Sultan Selim, a figure who murdered upwards of 40,000 Alevis in the 1500s, according to the group.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has repeatedly warned about “plots” designed to instigate a conflict between Alevis and Sunnis. On July 17, meanwhile, he also called himself “a perfect Alevi” during a speech in an attempt to soothe tensions.