In the twentieth century, the Turkish government has attempted to re-establish Alevism by calling for special reforms and initiatives. In this regard, the Justice and Development Party has promised to introduce special reforms, but these have yet to be implemented. As a result, it is difficult to assess the progress of Alevism. In the meantime, the religious rites and traditions are largely private, with only a few notable exceptions.

While there are some Alevis who follow the principles of Islam, they do not face Mecca when they pray. Moreover, their view of the world is distinctly democratic and egalitarian. In the political arena, they have traditionally supported left-wing parties, and they have been highly critical of hard-line Islamist parties. Hence, they have an important place in the Turkish political system. But despite their social and religious beliefs, Alevis are not a majority.

Nevertheless, Alevis religious practices and beliefs have long been studied. In the 1990s, more research was done on Alevis ethnology and religion. Studies on Alevis mythology and legends appeared. During these decades, more academics began to study the community. In addition, more publications were produced on the subject. Various scholars studied the history, beliefs, and practices of the Alevis. Among these were Kehl-Bodrogi, Vorhoff, and Gokalp. In the early 2000s, Melikoff believed that the Alevis practiced shaman rituals in disguise.

The central ceremony of Alevism is known as the cem. Generally, it is held weekly, but some communities hold special cems on feast days. The cem ceremony is usually held in congregational houses built in the 1990s. The cem is guided by the dede, or spiritual leader. In most communities, the language of the cem ceremony is Turkish. The dede speaks in Kurdish, and there are some Alevis who speak Arabic.

The Alevis differ from Sunni Muslims in several aspects, especially in their belief that the soul is immortal. They also believe in the existence of supernatural beings. They worship the devil and the angels as their gods. They also believe in the jinn, a spirit that encourages evil and acts of violence. They also believe in the evil eye. This is the most significant difference between the two sects.

Since the 1980s, Turkey has supported the Alevis, counterbalancing the rise of Sunni Islam. It has also prevented the spread of Kurdish nationalism among Kurdish Alevis. The official support of the ethnic group has led to a proliferation of Alevis organizations and publications in both Turkey and abroad. The Turkish-language media have also promoted the idea that Alevism is a legitimate religion, but not a minority religion.

In the early twentieth century, a generation gap was born. While the older generation remained Kemalist, they also believed in the legitimacy of the Bektashi order through the state. During this period, a number of young people joined the revolutionary movements and interpreted their historical opposition to Sunnism as a class struggle. While the state's official support for the Bektashi cult of angels was limited, their radicalism has also influenced Shi'i and other majorities.

Rites and Ceremonies

In Turkey, the Alevis consider their faith to be a branch of Islam. The first semah took place in the Cem of the Forties, when women and men became united. In addition, they consider Muhammad Ali to be their prophet. They worship in cemevis and dervish convents, and no two people are separated. It's not clear what the purpose of these institutions is, but they have a common belief.

In the late twentieth century, Alevis continued to be targeted. In 2014, a Turkish police officer shot a man as he participated in a funeral ceremony. As a result, his family won the case and was compensated. But even in the 21st century, there are many instances of persecution of Alevis, despite their claims to be minorities. It is crucial to understand this in order to better understand the nature of the relationship between Turkey and the Kurdish people.

In Turkey, there is no central authority to represent Alevism. In addition to their religious practices, they also have a strong cultural heritage. The ancient civilizations of the region are still very diverse. As a result, they are often represented as "non-religious" in some places. However, in Turkey, the Alevis are part of a large group. In fact, they account for one-third of the population in the country.

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