Information on internal flight alternatives for Alevis [TUR20153.FE]

The DIRB was unable to find any information on the above subject in any of the sources it consulted. However, the hidden tensions between the Alevis and the Sunni majority of the Turkish population have flared up on several occasions in recent centuries (Middle East International, 17 March 1995, 15). The Sunni majority in Turkey has long been mistrustful of the Alevi community which is perceived as being heretical and having links with the Kurdish nationalist movement, as well as with the far left and the communists (Contemporary Religions: A World Guide 1992, 82). According to the Middle East International, the most recent incidents took place in the town of Sivas in 1993, when 37 people were killed in an attack by a group of Islamists who set fire to a hotel in which Alevis, travelling to a festival, were staying (17 March 1995, 15). According to the same source, since the Sivas incident the Alevis have been feeling more and more threatened by the rise of political Islam in Turkey (ibid.).

For general information concerning internal flight alternatives in Turkey, please consult Response to Information Request TUR15543.E of 22 October 1993.

For more comprehensive information about the Alevi community, the differences between the Alevis and the Sunnis, their religious organization and the tensions experienced within this community, please consult the attached article entitled "Islamic Reform and the Mystic Tradition in Eastern Turkey" published in Archives Européennes de Sociologie (1969). For information concerning the rebirth of religious tensions between the Sunnis and the Alevis in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, please consult the attached article entitled "Turkey: Islam and Westernization" published in Religions and Societies: Asia and the Middle East (1982).

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this information request.

References


Contemporary Religions: A World Guide. 1992. Edited by Ian Harris, Stuart Mews, Paul Morris and John Shepherd. Harlow, Essex: Longman Group, UK.

Middle East International [London]. 17 March 1995. No. 496. Nicole Pope. "Turkey: Communal Discord."

Attachments

Archives Européennes de Sociologie. 1969. Vol. 10, No. 1. Nur Yalman. "Islamic Reform and the Mystic Tradition in Eastern Turkey," pp. 41-60.

Contemporary Religions: A World Guide. 1992. Edited by Ian Harris, Stuart Mews, Paul Morris and John Shepherd. Harlow, Essex: Longman Group, pp. 81-82.

Mardin, Serif. 1982. "Turkey: Islam and Westernization" Religions and Societies: Asia and the Middle East. Edited by Carlo Caldarola. Berlin: Mouton Publishers, pp. 171-73, 184-87, 194-95.

Middle East International [London]. 17 March 1995. No. 496. Nicole Pope. "Turkey: Communal Discord," p. 15.

Other Sources Consulted

Amnesty International. Annual. Amnesty International Report. New York : Amnesty International.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Reports. Daily.

The Middle East [London]. Monthly.

Middle East Focus [North York, Ontario]. Quarterly.

Middle East International [London/New York]. Semi-monthly.

Middle East Report [Washington]. Semi-monthly.

News From Middle East Watch [New York]. Monthly.

World Directory of Minorities. 1990. London: Minority Rights Groups International.