The Nation Contested: Alevi Identity as a Response to Turkish Nationalism

Watters, Samuel

A sense of anguish had replaced the exuberance typical of the heart of the İstanbul district Beşiktaş. Streets that normally bustled with lively commotion sulked beneath banners, mourning martyrs, and decrying complacency. The football matches and boisterous cheers that usually roared from nearby bars drowned under the cries of protestors calling on the Turkish state to recognize and account for massacres that have occurred throughout its history. Although the police officers surrounding this protest only observed silently, violent clashes erupted between protestors and security forces elsewhere in the city.1 The protests across İstanbul and the rest of Turkey on that hot July day commemorated the Sivas massacre, a 1993 incident in which thirty-seven individuals—most of whom were Alevi intellectuals and artists—perished in a hotel set on fire by a fundamentalist Sunni mob during an Alevi cultural festival.

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The Journal of Politics and Society

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Helvidius Group
Helvidius Group of Columbia University
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April 27, 2016