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Governor vetoes decision for Alevi worship houses

12.01.2012, Hurriyet Daily News

Mersin Gov. Hasan Basri Güzeloğlu vetoed a decision by the provincial assembly to provide for the running costs of Mersin Cemevi, which operates under the Mersin branch of the Alevi Culture Associations, from the provincial administration budget.

The provincial assembly in the southern province of Mersin voted for a decision to accept cemevis (Alevi worship houses) as a place of belief and decided to compensate their general expenses from the budget of the provincial administration last week.

The voting came after the Alevi Culture Federations’ Mersin branch head Suat Yıldız applied to Mersin provincial administration. In his application, Yıldız said the Alevi worship houses were places of worship and asked that electricity, water and maintenance work be paid from the administration’s budget.
However, Gov. Güzeloğlu sent the decision back to the provincial assembly on the grounds that a cemevi does not constitute a house of worship, citing legal provisions and regulations.

Mersin provincial assembly member from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Cem Nacar criticized the decision and said in any part of the world people cannot decide on behalf of a religious belief they are not part of.
“We were prepared for every decision, yet we will continue to search for our rights,” Suat Yıldız said.

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