Most important, however, was Mr. Davutoğlu's statement about the Madımak Hotel where 33 people - mostly Alevis - perished as a result of the 1993 arson of the building by a Sunni mob. Although many observers believe that the Turkish deep state was deeply involved in the traumatic event, the authorities have thus far been largely unable to offer closure to the Alevi community. "These sad memories hurt our hearts. We can turn [the hotel] into a living museum," Mr. Davutoğlu said on Saturday.
Although the media has lately been preoccupied with the future of the Kurdish reconciliation process, the Davutoğlu administration's commitment to reaching out to the Alevi community in addition to its interest in continued dialogue with the PKK leadership sends a strong message to skeptics. In the future, the government must not be discouraged by the actions of radical elements willing to resort to violence in order to prevent reconciliation. The moderate majority within the community should, in turn, join forces with the authorities in an effort to tackle existing problems.
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