Alevism and Alawism at the Center of the Debates on Definition, Denial and Recognition

Didem Doğanyılmaz Duman

Political Science and Public Administration Department, Izmir Democracy University

The Mediterranean Basin possesses significant diversity both in ethnic and religious aspects, and Alevi identity is one of the many components of this diverse cultural heritage. Turkiye has been the homeland of Alevis; however, the most heated debates regarding a definition have also taken place in Turkiye. This study aims to provide introductory information on Alawism and to present Alevism with its syncretic and genuine characteristics, focusing on the debates regarding not only definition from both objective and subjective identity perspectives but also social and legal status. In its conclusion, the author leads us to argue that Alevi identity should be recognized both on social and official levels and that, in this respect, it is important to remember that Alevism with its diverse structure is a component of diversity that the Mediterranean possesses in terms of both cultural and religious aspects.

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