Alevi place of worship smeared with death threats

In Istanbul the premises of an Alevi cultural and assembly house have been smeared with death threats by unknown persons. The perpetrators also stole the contents of a donation box.

In the Istanbul district of Sultanbeyli unknown persons broke into the Alevi place of worship (Cemevi) of the cultural association PSAKD (Pir Sultan Abdal Kültür Derneği) in the night to Sunday and smeared the floor with crosses and death threats. The premises were vandalized, and the perpetrator(s) also stole the contents of a donation box.

The chairman of the meeting house of the PSAKD, Erdal Aksoy, told the Alevi news agency PIRHA that it was still being investigated whether it was a theft or rather a politically motivated assault. Writings with the contents "Die" and "It is not over yet" were left behind. From the latter one can basically conclude that further attacks will follow, said Aksoy. He called on the members of the religious community to take united action against the threats against Alevis.

Recently, attacks, discrimination and political attacks against Alevis have been increasing, which are largely ignored by the Turkish media. The religious community is under high assimilation pressure. In Sultangazi only a few weeks ago the apartment of an Alevi family was marked with a writing "you will die". In Izmir at the beginning of December the house of an Alevi family was marked with a red cross.

In the history of the Turkish Republic, the marking of Alevi citizens’ houses is often connected with pogroms and massacres of the religious community. The mob that, for example, ran through the streets in 1978 during the pogrom of Maraş, murdering and pillaging, knew exactly where Alevis lived, which made it easy to attack them through the crosses marked on their houses.