Alevis’ Perspective on the Kurdish Movement and the Establishment of Distance

Proceedings of ‏The 3rd International Conference on Research in Social Sciences

Year: 2020


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Alevis’ Perspective on the Kurdish Movement and the Establishment of Distance

Hülya Doğan



Kurds and Alevis have been two major ethnic groups that have fought for equal citizenship rights since the foundation of the Turkish Republic. However, in the historical process, both the influence of the dominant state discourse, the conflicts created by the global powers and the codes that settle in the historical-cultural memories keep a tension line alive between these two groups. Comprehending this tension requires understanding all these processes and various reactions. For example, migratory movements caused by the war in Syria lead to the rise of nationalism in Turkey, and the Kurds and Alevis, therefore, found themselves on different fronts. Or Alevis can believe the government’s nationalist discourse when it is about connecting HDP with terrorism although they do not agree with AKP (leading party of the government) under any other circumstances. This study intends to go deep into this tension, which can only be understood by making contact with the world of mentality, through field research which is the method of anthropology. In order to end the polarization which is fed by the hatred of identities and to establish a real democracy can only be made possible by the egalitarian contact of the oppressed peoples. Especially in a time where the authoritarian regimes are rising all over the world. For this reason, the study focuses on deciphering the interaction of the Alevis with the nationalist discourse that causes this hatred and finding the possibilities of establishing peaceful ways of communication.

Keywords: Alevism; nationalism; Kurdish movement; Turkey; identity.