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Muslims Viewed as ‘Non-Muslims’: The Alevi Precincts of Anatolia

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Chapter Summary

This chapter relies on oral histories and anthropological accounts of Aleviism, the author's interviews with Alevis and site visits to extant architecture surviving from the past three centuries in Alevi communities in Turkey, as well as comparisons with other forms of Turkish Muslim religious architecture. It assembles the pilgrimage sites of Eyüp Sultan and the tekke (Sufi lodge) and cemetery of Karyağdı in Istanbul, a building in the village of Dağyurdu formerly used for the communal Alevi religious ceremony known as the cem, and the Cogi Baba cem evi and tomb in the Sivas Province, to examine the specific approaches of this Muslim minority towards their religious precincts. Just as there are many ways of being a practicing Muslim in the Turkish setting, there are many ways of being Alevi. The Alevis in Turkey continue to negotiate their rights to practice and their rights to distinctly Alevi architectural settings.

Keywords: Alevi religious precincts; cem; Cogi Baba; Muslim; Sivas Province; tekke; Turkey



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