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The Alevi Discourse in Turkey

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Chapter Summary

This paper is an attempt at exploring different interpretations of Alevism and Alevi identities, having emerged as a result of rapid and large-wave migrations, particulalry from 1960 onwards, from the countryside to the urban centres of Turkey. Those Alevis, who had become more and more isolated from the larger Alevi community and each other, ended up divided into different religious and ideological sects. Emergence of various Alevi associations and foundations proved unable to prevent such disintegration. On the contrary, it was the newly established Alevi institutions, emerging upon different bases, which actually heterogenised the Alevi phenomenon. Today, each Alevi institution in fact promotes its own particular perception of Alevism; the latter may even vary among family members. Therefore, it will be more accurate to speak of Alevi identities rather than of a single, unified Alevi identity in today’s Turkey.



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