Alevis In Turkey Demand Equal Rights

Alevis, who are considered by many Muslims, to be heretics, remain a powerful minority in Turkey. At a recent meeting of its leaders, the Grand Alevis Congress demanded an end to compulsory religious courses in public schools. As part of their strategy for change, Alevis will institute a host of lawsuits in order to make clear how widespread is their desire to end forced religion in schools. The meeting issued a series of six demands from the government. They want an end to compulsory religious education, the dissolution of the Religious Affairs Directorate, the establishment of a museum that will focus on the world of Alevis in Turkey, and recognition of their houses of worship as places of religious meetings. The Turkish government has attempted to hold workshops for Alevis, but their reaction is rather negative to listening to government religious figures discussing their religion.

The Alevis have long been regarded as the most liberal of Muslim groups, even though in most Muslim nations they are persecuted and not recognized as being Muslim.