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Turkey’s Alevi question

The government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seeking to heal old wounds with Turkey’s Alevi community, while stepping back from sectarian regional policies.
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
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Like the Kurdish problem, predominantly Sunni Turkey has had an age-old Alevi problem. Like the Kurdish problem, there are efforts today by the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to solve this problem, too. These efforts also tie in with Ankara’s steps aimed at appeasing the Shiites in the Middle East.

Some Alevi organizations have welcomed these efforts by the government, which President Abdullah Gul has also been contributing to. But not all are convinced of their sincerity and, given past disappointments, appear justified.

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