Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Glance at Alawis in Turkey Turkey’s creation of crisis in Syria with the support of the US and some Arab regimes has had some consequences inside Turkey.Early last week, at the invitation of two religious and social organs of the Alawis, namely, the Federation of Alawi Societies (ADF) and the Federation of Baktashi Alawis (ABF), 200,000 Alawis held a rally in Ankara. The Alawis announced the goal of their rally to be opposition to the release of permission for Turkey’s attack on Syria and censuring the government for ethnic and religious discriminations. Some of the participants showed their opposition to military intervention in Syria by carrying the Syrian flag and chanting the slogan “Syria will not become Karbala.” They declared that Turkish policies are serving the US interests and promoting war and religious differences in Syria and have nothing to do with Turkey’s national interests. One of the Alavis leaders Salaheddin Ozil delivered a speech saying, “There is no religious equality in Turkey and the Alawis are facing with many restrictions for holding religious and cultural ceremonies. We have gathered here to oppose discrimination, violence and inequality and announce that Turkey belongs to the entire nation.”The head of Baktashi Alawi Union Ozil added that the Turkish premier Recep Tayip Erdogan should apologize for the problems he has created for the Alawis. Ozil added that Erdogan cannot resolve the problems of Turkish democracy yet he speaks of establishing democracy in Syria.Ozil stated, “The Alawis are not seeking war with Syria, Iran, Greece and any other government and our citizens with any religion are not willing to such a war.” Many Kurdish political activists and representatives of People Republic Party and Peace and Democracy Party in the national assembly joined the rally and chanted slogans with the Alawis. Turkish researcher Ms. Cinay Ozdin pointed to her studies on the government’s plans for frightening the Alawis and forcing them to migrate from İskenderun. Referring to granting nationality to some Syrian Sunni refugees, Ozdin said, “This plan is for creating a sort of balance with Iskenderun Alawis who comprise the majority in the region and have carried the photos of Syrian president Bashar Assad and Syrian flag several times. Erdogan government has already granted Turkish nationality to many Afghans of Iskenderun.”Turkish Alawis have roots in the country’s history and in the past centuries, whether during the Ottoman Empire or the reign of Kamal Ata Turk, they have played little on the political scene. Over 15 million people i.e. about 20 percent of the 76 million population of Turkey are Alawis. Meanwhile about 18 to 20 percent of the Syrian population are Alawis. Erdogan’s effort for destabilizing Syria with the support of the US and some Arab regimes is considered a measure against the multi-million Syrian Alawis whom are deemed to have power by the westerners. On September 8, 2011, the Turkish premier compared Syria’s incidents with Karbala’s tragedy. A few days later, daily Milliyet wrote, “Those who, for years, have been allies with the US which kills Muslims are partner of oppression. They have also used discriminating policies in the country and cannot speak of Karbala event.”Conflict between the Turkish government and the Alawis is mounting; and indeed they have been under pressures of the rulers throughout history. 
[ed notes click link for whole article,just citing few excerpts....

No comments: