By Tord Olsson
Within the emerging momentum for brand spanking new and reformulated cultural identities, the Turkish Alevi have additionally emerged at the scene, challenging due reputation. during this method a couple of dramatic occasions have served as vital milestones: the clashes among Sunni and Alevi in Kahramanmaras in 1979 and Corum in 1980, the incendiarism in Sivas in 1992, and the riots in Istanbul (Gaziosmanpasa) in 1995. much less evocative, yet in the end extra major, has been the emerging curiosity in Alevi folklore and non secular practices. Questions have additionally arisen as to what this department of Islamic heterodoxy represents when it comes to outdated and new identities. during this booklet, those questions are addressed by way of the most famous students within the box.
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Additional info for Alevi Identity: Cultural, Religious and Social Perspectives (Transactions (Svenska Forskningsinstitutet I Istanbul), V. 8.)
They are explicitly concerned that the ostensibly neutral territory of the state is being used for religious purposes and will accordingly result in their being discriminated against. The Alevi reaction to these fears will not be identical, their community is after all large and diverse. However, there is a sad possibility that increasing sectarian sensitivity will lead to open disagreement, even violence between the two sects. It need not do so, and I hope profoundly that it will not. However, it would be irresponsible for us as researchers actively associated with the study of the Alevi not to be aware of the dangers.
This is unfair. There is no doubt that they represent something very different from the hitherto periodic rediscovering of the existence of the Alevi people. These volumes represent and display varied and important aspects of Alevi life: explorations of attitudes and beliefs which have previously been spoken rather than written down, the beginnings of a codification of an oral tradition, the working through of what it means to be an Alevi today in both fiction and prose, odd pieces of anecdote and research, and more coherent sweeps of several different aspects of Alevi social history and ethnography.
Hacı Bektaş is thus at once a spiritual focus, and also an orienting figure through which the Alevi build up a link and define their place in the wider world of Islam as a whole. The three ranks together give Alevi society a strong hierarchical basis, one that links in all its members into an overlapping network with a well-defined ritual, spiritual and poetic tradition. Alevilik and Sünnilik The dede are rightly regarded as one of the keys to Alevi society: they are at once its focus, its teachers, temporal judges and links to their religious heritage.
Alevi Identity: Cultural, Religious and Social Perspectives (Transactions (Svenska Forskningsinstitutet I Istanbul), V. 8.) by Tord Olsson