Posted by: becketfund | June 22, 2007

Turkey: Alevis Seek Official Recognition

Today’s Zaman reports that the Cem Foundation, an Alevi organization, has applied to register Alevi houses of worship (Cem evleri), in an effort to gain recognition for their religion. Currently, the Turkish government defines Alevis as a “sect” within Islam, and as such will not permit them to operate houses of worship which are cannot be used by all Muslims. The Prime Minister has already denied requests for places for Alevis in Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate and for a fund for Alevi religious practices. Should the request for recognition of cem evleri be denied, the Cem Foundation plans to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights. A detailed history of the Alevi and how they differ from Muslims can be read here.

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