Alevis had their ceremony, cem, in a mosque


The villagers of Kürelik, located in Erzincan, had their cem in the mosque that was built by enforcement after September 12, 1980 (the date of military coup). The mosque wasn’t used by anyone apart from it’s imam until it was completely abandoned when the imam left the village 3 months ago.

According to Kürelik Village Union’s President, Haydar Kement, there’s no Sünnis in the village but still there were 2 mosques built in their village after September 12. The imams of these two mosques prayed alone for years. Last year, a decision was taken to put minarets to these mosques but the villagers opposed to it and did a petition. They went to the governor with the collected signatures. The minaret’s construction was stopped and the imams left the village. After the imam left, the mosque was completely abandoned.

Hz.Ali’s portrait and grandfather coat

The villagers have been planning to build a cemevi for a while and after getting confirmation from Hubyar Sultan Union’s President Ali Kenanoğlu and Cem Trust’s President İzzetting Doğan, they put Hz.Ali’s portrait and a grandfather post inside the abandoned mosque.

The first Cem ceremony took place on the first day of Ramadan. The mosque that wasn’t in use for years was over-crowded for the first time.

Ali Kenanoğlu stated that there are mosques in 10% of the Alevi villages of Tokat and Sivas and none of them are being used. He also said, ‘The villagers couldn’t get any land to build cemevis and I suggested that they should turn the abandoned mosques into cemevis but the Alevis are scared of ministry of religion’s and the state’s reaction. However, this is a religious practice as much as the other one.’

Original article in Turkish:

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