By Tord Olsson
Within the emerging momentum for brand new and reformulated cultural identities, the Turkish Alevi have additionally emerged at the scene, difficult due reputation. during this procedure a few 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 ultimately 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 by way of previous and new identities. during this ebook, those questions are addressed through the most trendy students within the box.
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Extra info for Alevi Identity: Cultural, Religious and Social Perspectives (Transactions (Svenska Forskningsinstitutet I Istanbul), V. 8.)
Both Alevi and Sunni villagers explained to me that during the troubles of the late seventies sectarian relations had been very tense. This culminated in 1979, when there were riots, and the shops owned by Alevi had their windows smashed. As a result of this, most of the Alevi of the sub-province centre moved out, leaving it predominantly, I estimate 90 per cent, Sunni. Now, relations are broadly peaceful: villagers of both sects come into the town in order to conduct their official business, attend market day and, occasionally, to sell their livestock.
1 Indeed, they are part of a general trend, and should not be seen as distinct from it. The past decade has seen an unprecedented rise in Alevi cultural associations, periodicals devoted to exploring the nature of ‘Aleviness’, television programs, discussion groups debating the ‘Alevi question’ and higher political exposure than they have before known. In short, there is occurring nothing short of the creation of a modern cultural heritage by a people who until recently were mute on the national stage.
8 For a survey and bibliography cf. Roemer 1989; recently Calmard 1993; Gronke 1991. 9 Gölpinarlı 1958. Popular editions cf. footnote 53. Comment and summary of the legend on Hacı Bektaş Veli in German cf. Groá 1927. For another Bektashi legend cf. Tschudi 1914. For a list of manuscripts cf. M. Öztürk 1991:pp. 26–36. Anthropology and ethnicity 30 “The fire goes on! Sivas will never be forgotten”. Front page of the Alevi magazine Cem. Köprülü, a pupil of Mélikoff, Ahmet Yaşar Ocak (1983, 1996), has done some pioneer work in that field.
Alevi Identity: Cultural, Religious and Social Perspectives (Transactions (Svenska Forskningsinstitutet I Istanbul), V. 8.) by Tord Olsson