31 years ago, the Madımak massacre

The Madımak massacre was carried out 31 years ago in Sivas. 33 people were burned alive in the hotel they were staying while attending an Alevi festival.

The Madımak massacre took place on 2 July 1993 and was directed against participants in a cultural festival held in honour of the Alevi folk poet Pir Sultan Abdal in the central Anatolian city. The guests of the festival, who stayed at the Madımak Hotel, were mainly Alevi artists, poets, thinkers, singers and folklore dancers, but also critical intellectuals of different denominations.

A religiously and nationalistically incited mob used the presence of the avowed atheist and well-known writer Aziz Nesin, among others, as a pretext to set fire to the hotel. The trapped people could not escape from the burning building because the angry mob blocked their way and cheered the fire. Although the police, military and fire brigade were alerted, they did not intervene until hours later. The events were broadcast live on state television for hours. 35 people, including two hotel employees, died in the fire at the Madımak Hotel.

The names of the victims were as follows: Muhlis Akarsu (45), Muhibe Akarsu (44), Gülender Akça (25), Metin Altıok (53), Mehmet Atay (25), Sehergül Ateş (29), Behçet Sefa Aysan (44), Erdal Ayrancı (35), Asım Bezirci (66), Belkıs Çakır (18), Serpil Canik (19), Muammer Çiçek (26), Nesimi Çimen (62), Carina Cuanna Thuijs (23), Serkan Doğan (19), Hasret Gültekin (22), Murat Gündüz (22), Gülsüm Karababa (22), Uğur Kaynar (37), Asaf Koçak (35), Koray Kaya (12), Menekşe Kaya (15), Handan Metin (20), Sait Metin (23), Huriye Özkan (22), Yeşim Özkan (20), Ahmet Özyurt (21), Nurcan Şahin (18), Özlem Şahin (17), Asuman Sivri (16), Yasemin Sivri (19), Edibe Sulari (40), İnci Türk (22) as well as the hotel employees Ahmet Öztürk (21) und Kenan Yılmaz (21).