Alevi Geography

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It is a historical fact that Alevi settlements are con-centrated more in remote mountainous areas in contrast to Sunni communities generally settled in plain and flat regions while usually dominating town and city centres.

This social and geographical isolation is an obvious result of the confrontations between Alevis and Sunnis and centuries old oppression applied by the latter over the former. Given the fact that this geographical concentra-tion determines their way of life, before the 1960s, Alevis were traditionally either semi-nomadic herding or household based agriculture society. Considering their economically and socially disadvantageous position which emerged as a result of this isolation, it would not be surprising to note that as of the 1950s, Alevis participated on a wide scale in both internal migration and emigration. Today, rural areas, which are traditionally Alevi have largely been urbanized.

Alevis in Europe

It is largely claimed that Alevis are over-represent-ed in regards to internal and external migration waves, which emerged in the 1950s. The bloody attacks targeting Alevis at the end of the 1970s in Çorum, Elbistan, Maraş, Malatya, Sivas and Yozgat, imposed their participation in migration, especially in international migration waves to Europe. Today, it is estimated that approximately a million Alevis are living in Europe. The European Alevi Confederation represents more than 250 Alevi Cultural Centres, which are organised under national federations in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

Alevi Demands in Turkey

The abolishment of the Directorate of Religious Affairs: The Directorate of Religious Affairs is a massive public institution with over a hundred thousand employees which caters for the needs of Sunnis but in no way provides for or considers the needs of Alevis, Assyrians, Christians or Jews. Alevis right-fully claim that religious services should not be sponsored by the state according to secularism.

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