International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Evaluating Alevism in Turkey
Jamal Shah

Multiculturalism based on toleration negates the politics of exclusion. Being a permanent phenomenon of the Turkish politics, Alevism, since the past two decades, is a fact requiring genuine solution based on justice and fair play. Alevism cannot achieve it by itself. Though since 1980s and particularly after 1990, there emerged a wave of Alevi’s revivalism due mainly to the mass migration of Alevis from rural to urban cities, explosion of media, collapse of the USSR and mass publication of books and journals, this revivalism should not be viewed as a strength vis-à-vis the majority. Due to its internal divisions and disagreements, Alevism does not (and cannot) play a dominant role in Turkish politics. The migration to the urban cities has brought into existence a process of soft and delicate mode of Alevis’ assimilation. Alevism gives emphasis on the Kemalist version of secularism and has a number of complaints from the present government struggling for restructuring and remodeling the existing version of secularism. For this purpose the present study tries to give answers to two questions “Is Turkish secularism an acceptable political mechanism for Alevis?” and “Can Alevis as a religious group pose any threat to the social integrity of Turkish society?”

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