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Is Turkey heading toward Alevi-Sunni clashes?

The most risky issue for Turkey is a potential Alevi-Sunni clash that requires the Erdogan government to urgently introduce an Alevi freedoms opening.
Berkin Elvan's sister Ozge (C) reacts as his coffin approaches the Okmeydani cemevi, an Alevi place of worship, in Istanbul March 11, 2014. Police and protesters clashed in Turkey's two biggest cities on Tuesday following the death of the 15-year-old boy who suffered a head injury during anti-government demonstrations last summer. Elvan, then aged 14, got caught up in street battles in Istanbul between police and protesters on June 16 after going out to buy bread for his family. He was struck in the head by

The last week has been very bitter for Turkey. First, Alevi youth Berkin Elvan, who was injured during last year's Gezi Park protests, died in the hospital. Then, Sunni youth Burakcan Karamanoglu was killed in an incident during the funeral ceremony for Berkin Elvan, and the extreme leftist terror organization Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) claimed responsibility. Following these deaths, the Turkish media started to deliberate a potential Alevi-Sunni confrontation. 

On the morning of March 12, when Elvan’s death was announced, I experienced an assault myself. DHKP-C militants recognized me and attacked my car with stones. I reacted quickly and got away, although my car was damaged. I might have been killed instead of Burakcan. The Turkish press reported the incident, but I declined offers of interviews so as not to personalize the matter during such a tense period. I am very sensitive to the Alevi issue. I have been forever struggling against Marxist-Leninist terror organizations that want to exploit the misfortunes of Alevis. Five years ago, I was assaulted by the extreme-right Alperen organization for saying on a TV program that the nationalists should apologize for the Alevi massacres of 80 years ago. I had to be hospitalized.

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