There is growing feeling among secular minded Turks for their nation to do something to mark the 15th anniversary of the massacre of 37 Alevi intellectuals and artists by a crown of ignorant fundamentalist Muslims in the province of Silvas. The Alevi are a Muslim sect which is noted for its secular modern ideas that have drawn the ire of fundamentalists. About a 150 Alevi had gathered for an art festival when local preachers stirred up people in the mosques during prayer time and within a few hours a mob of 16,000 had descended on the hotel. They set fire to the hotel and made it difficult for the fire brigade to do anything. As a result 37 people burned to death.
In Parliament, several members of the Republican people’s Party accused the governing Justice and Development Party(AKP) of protecting the murderers and not respecting the people who died in the massacre. They called for making the site of these murders an historic one so that future generations would not forget what happens when fundamentalist minded people go on one of their rampages against those whom they consider to be heretics.