News broke May 21 that a team of Turkish police officers with the Counter-Terrorism Department killed two Islamic State (IS) members who were preparing for an attack in the capital, Ankara. One suspected target was a prominent Alevi cultural foundation in Ankara. The terrorists had photos and floor plans of the building. This was not the first time a "cemevi" (an Alevi house of gathering and prayer) appared on IS' radar.
Ankara Gov. Ercan Topaca assembled representatives of Alevi organizations and senior police officers May 25 to warn the Alevis to be vigilant and seek private security for their prayer houses. The news was published only in a few news outlets and did not receive much attention except in the Alevi population. Gani Kaplan, chairman of the Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Association, told the newspapers something crucial: "The authorities always tell us we are under threat and we must take precautions. We fear Turkey is under the threat of a civil war." Kaplan warned that tensions are already so high between Sunnis and Alevis that any attack could set off further conflict.