Turkey: More Pressure on Minority Groups – Liberal Religious Community of Alevis Is Under Suspicion

A protester holds a banner reading "we are alevi" as he and many others wait to hear the decision of the court in front of a courthouse in Ankara March 13, 2012. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Society for Threatened Peoples Press Release:

The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) is concerned about the fact that the Islamic government under Recep Tayyib Erdogan is putting pressure on the liberal religious community of the Alevis and other minority groups following the failed military coup in Turkey. “Erdogan’s regime is not only threatening Turkish people who are members of the opposition, but especially ethnic groups that refuse to submit to the Islamist system,” said Kamal Sido, the STP’s Middle East Consultant, in Göttingen on Monday. “Although the vast majority of the Alevis, Kurds, and other minorities, would be strictly against a takeover by the Turkish army, they are under suspicion by the ruling AKP party. They have experienced difficulties in the past already, since Alevism is not recognized as an independent religion in Turkey. Now, all members of this religious community are accused of taking sides with the putschists. “Thousands of Alevis have been arrested or have lost their jobs. Almost one in four of the 75 million citizens of Turkey are Alevis. Many Turks, Kurds, and Arabs see themselves as members of the religious community.

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