Turkey: Alevi institutions attacked on the day of Muharram fasting
A demonstration to be staged in protest against a series of attacks that targeted Alevi institutions in Turkish capital Ankara was banned by Turkish authorities on Sunday, Yagmur Kaya of +Gerçek reported.
Three Alevi institutions, a house of gathering (djemevi) for the Alevi community and the offices of an association and a foundation, located in different neighborhoods, were subjected to simultaneous attacks on Saturday, the first day of Muharram fasting.
An official of the targeted Alevi foundation was injured by a an assailant.
The street where the demonstration was planned to begin were cordoned off by the police on Sunday as a large group of people including representatives of various Alevi institutions gathered in front of a djemevi in the neighborhood.
Following negotiations with the police, the officials of Alevi institutions announced their decision to cancel the demonstration, and were met with reactions from the crowd.
In a statement, the Ankara police department said that all three attacks were carried out by a single individual and the suspect was arrested.
Alevi communities in Turkey: Discriminated and persecuted
Alevis have been subjected to discrimination and persecution throughout the history of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic, and were targeted in massacres, more recent of which were the massacre of Maras in 1978, Çorum in 1980 and Sivas in 1993, which left hundreds dead.
Alevi faith is not officially recognized as a distinct faith in Turkey, and djemevis are not accepted as places of religious significance like the mosques.