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Alevi Anger Boils Over in Ankara

Simmering anger in Ankara’s iconic Alevi neighborhood of Tuzlucayir suggests that the prime minister might be too late in addressing Alevi grievances.
A demonstrator gestures as he stands behind burning barricades during a protest in the Tuzlucayir neighbourhood of Ankara September 9, 2013. Billed as a symbol of peace between two faiths, a new place of worship has turned Tuzlucayir, a poor suburb of Ankara, into a battleground and exposed wider sectarian tensions within Turkey. The project's blueprint envisages a Sunni mosque rising side by side with a new cemevi, or assembly house, to be used by Alevis, Turkey's biggest religious minority. But with its c

ANKARA — It is a bizarre sight. On a sealed-off street on Ankara’s outskirts, riot police equipped with a tear-gas-firing vehicle watch over the construction of a religious shrine, guarding the site from the very people for whom it is intended.

Despite two weeks of street clashes earlier in September, workers continue to toil at what will eventually be a complex housing a Sunni mosque next to a cemevi, an assembly house and place of worship for Alevis, Turkey’s largest and long-stigmatized religious minority.

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