"They want to eradicate the Alevi faith”

Alevis are under high assimilation pressure in Turkey. TJA activist Hayriye Korkmaz refers to state policy and planned attacks aimed at wiping out the Alevi faith.

Alevis in Turkey are under great pressure from the policies of the AKP government. They are often the target of attacks. Hayriye Korkmaz, an activist of the Free Women's Movement TJA, has spoken to ANF about the state's policy of oppression against Alevis:

"The state has been committing massacres for years to assimilate Alevis and eradicate their faith and culture. There were the massacres of Dersim, Maraş, Sivas, Gazi and many more. The houses of Alevis are repeatedly marked with red crosses. We are not intimidated by this. Our will cannot be broken by this. All must be able to live out their faith, language and culture freely. My faith is a matter between me and the one who created me. No state can present a justification for destroying a person's faith. There is no such right. On the contrary, the state must protect the Alevi faith.

In Malatya, Izmir and Istanbul houses of Alevis have been marked. Afterwards there have been attacks. This state of affairs is connected with state policy. If the state had intervened in time, it would not have come to this point. These attacks take place quite deliberately. In the educational system and in books the Alevi faith is intended to be eradicated. There is intended to be only one faith and one way of life. We will never accept this state treatment of us and continue to live out our faith and our culture. We are determined to fight against all those who want to prevent us from doing so.

Attacks against Alevis have been going on for a long time and they have never stopped. In the recent past, apartments of Alevis were marked and attacked in Malatya. This then continued in Izmir and Istanbul. Those affected were not members of a particular party or association. The people are intended to be intimidated and expelled. We all know that displaced people usually cannot find new housing and often do not know how to finance their living. When they are torn from their familiar surroundings and the need is great, they forget their faith and identity over time.”