Sunday, February 17, 2013

AKP's Sunni Chauvinist foreign policy has domestic blowback: report

Bianet: Report Reveals Discrimination Against Turkey's Alevis
An Alevi association annual report reveals at least 60 right abuses including board-marking of apartments with Alevi residents, discrimination of Alevis' funerals were committed in 2012. 
Nilay VARDAR, 31 January 2013, Thursday
The report listed 60 different incidents in 2012 diverging from board-marking of apartments with Alevi dwellers to Turkish state's discriminatory practices toward Alevi funerals and arsons cases in sacred Alevi places.
Ali Kenanoğlu, association chairperson, discrimination toward Alevi people from government authorities skyrocketed in 2012 and physical attacks on Alevi people became "routine" on evening news.
"We can also resolve this issue with a new constitution where the Turkish state will be entitled to approach all religious equidistantly and not to favor an semi-official state religion," Kenanoğlu said.
Some of the remarkable incident from the report included:
* Ostracizing: Rumors spread that dozens of apartments inhabited by Alevi people have been board-marked in Adıyaman, Antep, Erzincan, Balıkesir, Istanbul and Mersin provinces. In Izmir province, Çiğili district's Alevi residents were said to receive notes inviting them to the faith of Islam.
* Attacks: During the islamic holy month of Ramadan, an Alevi resident's apartment has been reported attacked after he complaint on the public drum noise to wake up people for fasting.
* Ill-treatment on Alevi sacred places: Municipalities in Istanbul and Mugla provinces ordered the deconstruction of two cemevis (Alevi prayer space) due to their "unsuitabilities for construction". While an arson was reported in a cemevi in Istanbul's Kartal district, the walls of another cemevi in Yeşilkent district has been destructed by bulldozers. A cemevi in Kadikoy district complaint that their electricity was cut down by the municipality. A failed arson attempt was reported in a ceremony tent built in Erzincan province during Alevi's holy month of Moharram.
* Injustice: Several Turkish court verdicts reinforced the government approach denying cemevis as a religious practice place.
* Threats: Hundreds of students with Alevi origin complaint that they received threats from school administration to enroll in Islam religion class.
* Education: Education Ministry included two chapters on Alevi faith on school textbooks. Most Alevi parents interpreted the ministry's move to force their children to enroll in Islam religion classes. Alevi parents' request to exempt their children from compulsory religion classes were denied.
* Funerals: No army or government officials attended the funerals of 2 slain army soldiers because they were held in cemevis. Other slain cemevi soldiers' funerals held in mosques were attended by dozens of officials from the government and army.
* NGOs: Police raided an Alevi association in Dersim province, detaining its administrators.
* 1993 Sivas Massacre case: A general feeling has established among society that the remaining few suspects for involving in 1993 Sivas Massacre could benefit from the statute of limitations. (NV/BM)

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