Several Alevi Bektaşi Associations affiliated with the Federation of Alevi Foundations (AVF), which together represent 600 cemevis and 300 local Alevi community associations, have strongly condemned the refusal by Ankara’s Mamak Municipality
Turkey’s first-ever complex housing both a mosque and a cemevi, an Alevi house of worship, has become the latest victim in the battle launched by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government against the Gülen movement after the Mamak Municipality refused to grant a certificate of occupancy to the complex on the grounds that it was built with “parallel funds.”
Turkey needs to face the fact that experience gained over the course of almost a century has shown that the marriage of state and religion is detrimental to both. If Turkey is to ever consolidate a liberal and pluralist kind of democracy, state and religion need to be separated, and freedom for believers and nonbelievers alike has to be secured.
Participants of an iftar held by the Federation of Alevi-Bektaşi Associations under the theme “Solidarity in the light of the Quran” at the Renaissance Polat Hotel in İstanbul on Wednesday evening expressed their disbelief in the existence of any conspiracy prepared by the Hizmet movement.
Turkey’s first-ever joint mosque-cemevi complex has been under construction in Ankara since last September. The project, which is being carried out by the CEM Foundation and the Hacı Bektaş Veli Culture, Education, Health and Research Foundation, was first suggested by Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who lives in the US in self-imposed exile.
Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has offered condolences for Uğur Kurt, a 34-year-old who was waiting to attend a funeral outside a cemevi, an Alevi house of worship, was hit by a stray bullet allegedly from a police weapon and died in hospital on Thursday night.
Huseyin Gulerce voiced deep concern about Erdogan’s criticism of Fethullah Gulen “as a fake prophet” at a meeting of the Religious Affairs Directorate. Gulerce asked, “Would not the stability of the country be harmed if the mosques are polarized as such?” He concluded that politics have dominated religion.
The in-depth interview with Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who has inspired the popular civic and social movement called Hizmet, and was published this week in a five-part series by both Zaman and Today’s Zaman was received well by people from all walks of life including intellectuals, academics, politicians and human rights activists.
HIZMET NEWS In relation to month of Muharram, friendship programs were organized in Istanbul and Ankara as well as several cities of Anatolia including Tunceli, Balikesir, Corum and Tokat in November 2013. In Istanbul, government officials and representatives of religions came together at the traditional Muharram iftar (fast breaking) dinner organized by The World Ahlul […]
It must be realized that religion is a matter for individual citizens. It is likely that the Gülen community will face restrictions and pressure from the government [as the AK Party government’s supporters have accused the Gülen movement of discrediting a number of ministers and their relatives in relation to a recent investigation into alleged bribery in public tenders, which saw the sons of three Cabinet ministers taken into custody alongside construction moguls and bureaucrats]. What we have been defending are universal rights, including the freedom of religion and belief. If these can be achieved, everybody will benefit from them, not just the Alevi community.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) claimed it would minimize the space the state occupies in people’s lives and reduce bureaucracy and downsize the public sector when it was first elected to office. During the early years of its rule, it really moved to achieve these targets. But as it increased its control over the entire state apparatus, it has increasingly become yet another typical Turkish ruling party that prioritizes the state.
Alevis have been traditionally considering themselves a minority because their interpretation of Islam differs from the state’s understanding. In such a climate, the Abant Platform organized [a Gulen Movement affiliated organization] a three-day-long meeting by Lake Abant over the weekend, bringing representatives from the Alevi and Sunni community. Personally, I learned a lot from the meeting which almost served as a channel for venting for Alevis.
Alevis have expressed at Abant meeting their uneasiness over pro-government comments claiming that the Gezi Park protests were an “Alevi uprising,” warning against a “dangerous approach that encourages wrong perceptions.” The title of this year’s Abant Platform, which started on Dec. 13, was “Alevis and Sunnis: Searching for Peace and a Future Together.” It was organized by the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV), a group affiliated with the Gülen Movement.
On the first day of the 30th Abant Platform meeting on Friday on the Alevis issue in Turkey, Alevi and Sunni intellectuals and opinion leaders agreed that the problems date back to centuries ago and are more complicated than they seem. The event, titled “Searching for peace and a future together,” brought together representatives of various Alevi communities as well as Alevi and Sunni pundits, journalists and academics in an effort to have a comprehensive debate on one of the lingering problems of Turkish society.