Members of the Alevi community in Turkey’s northwestern province of Kocaeli have voiced concern after a number of their homes were allegedly marked with a cross by unknown people.
Crosses marked with red paint were spotted on the outside walls and doors of several households belonging to Alevi people in the Tavşantepe district of Kocaeli.
Hacı Bektaş Veli Anatolia Culture Foundation Kocaeli branch head Ali Ekber İncesu said on June 15 that the houses were marked early in the morning.
“We noticed the crosses with red paint on our homes later on the same morning. There are three crosses on my house,” said İncesu.
A total of 16 houses on Tavşantepe’s Doğuş Street were marked with red paint, according to locals. Meanwhile, a café belonging to the municipality and located near the Tavşantepe Cemevi, an Alevi worshipping house, was reportedly set alight on the same morning, further raising suspicion.
Residents reportedly called the police in the morning after they saw the marks on their houses.
“The café owned by municipality was set alight at 03.30 a.m. We helped the firemen and police extinguish the fire. Later in the morning we noticed the marks on our homes. We have never experienced anything like this before. We have lived here peacefully until now. But residents are now very worried,” said İncesu.
Police have opened an investigation to find those who marked the homes.