Turkish Alevis demand respect for European court ruling
On November 7, an unidentified person posted a note saying “To be Demolished” on the main entrance gate of Neve Shalom Synagogue, Istanbul’s largest synagogue.
Alevi leaders as well as other public figures have reacted strongly to remarks made by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu stating that the government does not need to take a lesson from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), which has urged Turkey to end compulsory religious courses at Turkish schools, regarding discrimination.
Addressing Turkey’s Alevi communities in his speech at a Hacı Bektaş Veli Ashura event over the weekend, the PM Davutoğlu called for unity and vowed to tackle the problems faced by Alevis.
The initiative will concern not only the Alevi community with which the government has long been in conflict, but also other minorities who are reluctant to be attached to the Directorate of Religious Affairs. The establishment of a "regulative and controlling council," which will embrace every section of society refusing to be linked to the ministry, is expected to be part of the reforms that will be introduced by the government.
While the government is handling the Alevi question, it will not engage in discussions over the status of cemevis as recognized houses of worship and will leave it to the initiative of the members of the Alevi community, as there are different opinions about this issue among Alevis themselves. Rather than the discussion of the status of cemevis, the government is supposed to make some arrangements that will meet basic needs of the Alevi community such as covering the expenses of cemevis.
The İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality decided on Friday to turn a 42,000-square-meter field in the district of Zeytinburnu, that was previously returned to the Armenian Hospital Foundation in Yedikule in compliance with the return of minority property law, into a park.
Turkey's minority foundations have been unable to elect presidents for almost two years as the Directorate General for Foundations (VGM) has failed to draft a new regulation following the annulment of the previous one, a daily has reported.
Alevis have long complained about discrimination in the Turkish education system.
The proposal allows the head of the TİB to block websites and content in order to 'protect national security and public order, as well as to prevent crime.'