Some houses where Alevis live have been marked with a cross and the derogatory word Kızılbaş in the Ova and Uçak neighbourhoods of Seyhan in Adana, Turkey.
The Adana Alevi Platform has published a written statement in response to the marking of the houses and the targeting of Alevis, calling on the authorities for immediate clarification of the incident, Mesopotamia News Agency reports.
The term Kızılbaş means ‘redhead’ and was a derogatory term used by the Ottoman state as a name for Alevis living in Anatolia. Until today, racist groups in Turkey still use the word Kızılbaş as a term of abuse for Alevis.
The Alevi Platform’s immediate response of calling on officials to perform their duty was because of the bloody history of Alevis in Turkey. Since the time of Ottoman rule, Alevis have been targeted, exposed to oppression and subjected to massacres, and have had to hide their identity and beliefs. Today, there are still many Alevis who do not express their beliefs or worship freely.
Alevis are extremely concerned by the marking of their houses, as hundreds of Alevi people have lost their lives to mob attacks amd lynchings. Attacks against Alevis in the Turkish Republic (post Ottoman times) started in the mid-1960s, but the worst massacre occurred in Maraş in 1978 after the bombing of a cinema in the city. Word immediately started spreading that “Alevi Communists” had bombed the cinema. According to official figures, 105 people were killed in the attacks which occurred between 19-26 December that year.
On 2 July 1993, 37 people, mostly Alevi intellectuals, were burned alive when a mob set fire to the Hotel Madimak in Sivas. Various reports have indicated that police did not intervene in the mob during this attack.
Burhanettin Bulut, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP for Adana, brought the issue of the marking of the houses to parliament where he called on the police to “find those responsible immediately.”
“Corum, Maras, and Sivas are still in our memories. The marks of crosses on the walls of the homes of our Alevi citizens is great provocation. I condemn this inhumane act of the marking of houses. I call on officials to find those responsible immediately.” he said.
Bulut submitted a parliamentary question on the issue to the President of the Parliament, to be answered by Suleyman Soylu, the Interior Minister. He asked:
-How many incidents have there been in Turkey in which the houses of Alevi citizens have been marked?
-In which provinces did these events occur?
-How many of those who marked the homes of Alevi citizens have been arrested by the time this question is answered? How many of these people have been punished?
-What action was taken after the attack in Adana?
-Have any measures been taken to prevent the same thing from happening again in the region?