Turkey: Ultranationalists threaten Alevi village

Turkey: Ultranationalists threaten Alevi village
Update: 23 August 2022 13:18
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Racist messages threatening Alevi residents emerged on the walls of a village in Western Turkey

Ultranationalist groups wrote threatening messages on the walls of Gure, an Alevi village near the western city of Balikesir in Turkey, further escalating tensions in the country that recently saw increasing attacks on Alevi communities, the largest religious minority in the country.

“The jackals reign until the lions stand up,” read the menacing message along with a sign of three crescents, an obvious symbol of ultranationalist ideology in Turkey. “Bullets for everyone from now on” read another message. 

Journalist Canan Coskun who published the photos of the intimidation on her Twitter account said she reported the incident to security officials. She said the commander of the military said “he would pull their ears but the villagers would not reveal the perpetrators.”

Turkey recently witnessed frequent attacks against the Alevi community which roughly constitute a 10 percent of the population.

Late last month, three Alevi institutions located in different neighborhoods in the capital city of Ankara were subjected to simultaneous attacks on Saturday, the first day of Muharram, a sacred Alevi month. 

Ankara police later said that all three attacks were carried out by a single individual and the suspect was arrested.

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, Corum 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.