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Turkish government criticized for creating new Alevi cultural agency

Many Alevi associations have objected to the agency's placement with the Culture Ministry, which they say demonstrates the government’s refusal to recognize Alevis as a religious community.

In a controversial pre-election move directed at Turkey’s Alevi population, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has established a new public agency to coordinate Alevi places of worship.

The new body, attached to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, will research the needs of the cemevis — the Alevi community's houses of worship — as well as Alevism and Bektashism, according to the decree. It also sees the establishment of an 11-strong consultative body, all of them selected by the president. 

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