Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sectarianism in Turkey

From our correspondent Ali in Turkey:
" Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan said that Alevism is not a religion but a culture, hence, there is no need to recognize formally their places for worshiping. "In past we supposed that Alevis are people who likes Caliphate Ali very much but these have no concern with him." said Erdogan

This is not the first time he speaks as an ulama lecturing especially on Alevism. He said “freak” for a cemevi (the place of worship of Alevis) and has been refusing to meet the demands of Alevis, that is official recognition. (Alevis who constitute at least 25% of Turkish society, have been struggling for official recognition for decades)

Ignorant western journalists that only looking Turkey through the secular-Islamist prism, and do not even know who the Alevis are (They tend to name Alevis as Alawites or Nusairis the term Turkish people usually use for describing Arab-Alevis as because there are Turkish, Kurdish and Zaza Alevis too) claimed that he is a moderate Islamist leader

After the u-turn in foreign policy towards Syria (He was calling Bashar Al Assad as 'My brother' just two years ago) the sectarianism became rampant. For instance, many times Turkish ministers or senior officials of Justice&Development Party replied Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of main opposition party (Republican People's Party) when he opposes the Turkish FM on Syria, to be a "sectarian alliance with Bashar Al Assad." (Kılıçdaroğlu is from Dersim province of Turkey and he is a Zaza-Alevi) or Pro-government media lash out journalists refusing to take a part in disinformation campaign on Syria by blaming them as 'secret Nusairis'

Contrary to Arab Alevis (or Alawites as in western media) Turkish and Zaza Alevis were completely irrelevant with Syria (Kurdish Alevis were mostly against Assad rule, because of the situation of Kurds in Syria) before the rampant sectarianism but now I may easily say that they are all supporting Assad thaks to the discourses of the government. When I read the news about Turkish Alevis in western media they also claims that “Alawites” are sensitive on Assad because of sharing the same sect, this is the cheapest way of propaganda and they are obviously relocating the causes and effects."