The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has launched a campaign demanding equal citizenship rights for Alevis, an unrecognized religious minority in Turkey.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday (May 4) to introduce the campaign, HDP Co-Chair Mithat Sancar said Alevis suffer “discrimination and denial in every aspect of life.”
Based on the Alevis’ decades-long struggle, the HDP categorized their demands under various titles and turned them into a program, said Sancar.
“Alevis’ places of worship are not recognized. The education has been arranged for the assimilation [of Alevis]. The content of the Religious Culture and Ethical Knowledge classes and the discriminatory mentality that they are based on are proven by the decisions of the ECtHR and the Constitutional Court.
“Places of worship and a curriculum based on the principle of respect in education are among the basic demands.
“This program requires abandoning all assimilationist and denial practices for the realization of the right to equal citizenship.”
Yesterday was also the anniversary of the start of the 1937 Dersim Massacre, Sancar noted, adding, “While explaining what needs to be done for equal citizenship, we want a program of confrontation to be implemented on the other hand.”