In countries like Turkey, even the most fundamental steps for reform can turn into troublesome processes. One of the reasons for this is the fact that democratic insight cannot be developed in the country and another one is that Turkey has a community-based social structure. While everyone is looking at the issues from their own limited point of view, the social segments devoid of their rights and demanding reforms cannot produce consistent and integrative politics. While politics is trapped in those communities, some disagreements within them can also arise. In such cases, some contradictory demands are offered by the same group and it is not easy to determine which one is the actual reform.
The Alevi issue also manifests with these features. For instance, a harsh debate is ongoing on the matter of including Alevism into the Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB). Some Alevi groups side with participating in the DİB and taking advantage of the financial opportunities it provides. Some of them support it on condition that the DİB becomes independent from the state and/or turns into a neutral coordinative institution. Another end of this wide spectrum suggests that Alevis should not be included in the DİB in any case and/or should not form any financial relation with the state. Consequently, some Alevis would unavoidably object no matter what is said and done as part of the reform.
The status of cemevis is also another point of disagreement. Some groups in the community demand the use of cemevis as active places of worship and want the state's aid for cemevis. However, some think that only using them as worship places would not be sufficient, they are also required to be certified as "places of worship." While some say that the monetary aid from the state can be accepted only under such circumstances, some suggest receiving no financial support in any case. If the debates were limited only to the ones I mentioned, some points of consensus might have been reached. However, some groups in the Alevi community regard cemevis as a danger since opening cemevis to worship could imply the impossibility of re-opening dergahs, another sacred place of worship for Alevis. Moreover, the difference between a dergah and a cemevi is not only spatial, but also about religious hierarchy and status. While dergahs promote an Alevism under the supervision of dede families - the historic socio-religious leaders in the Alevi community - cemevis favor a quite secularist sense of ritual and will probably suggest new religious guides.
The only subject unifying all Alevis is seemingly making religious education subjects elective. But the main point here is the question of who will teach Alevism and in which way, which complicates the situation even more. There is a wide spectrum ranging from elective subjects in state schools to the education provided by different mechanisms within their community. Also, it is not agreed upon as to how teachers of Alevism subjects would be educated.
The main reason for all these conflicts is the fact that Alevism has lived "underground" for almost 500 years, was prevented from sustaining its own traditions publicly and has not been allowed to pass into written culture yet. When we add the urbanization introduced by modernization to all this, we see how a notion of Alevism, of which boundaries are blurry, was formed. Today, Alevism indicates a religion or a culture for some, while it represents only politics for others. The real problem is that the subgroups in the community have clear disagreements and some deeply-rooted enmities arose between some of them. When we add the other views suggesting that Alevism is actually a form of Christianity or that it should be regarded as an independent religion, we can see more clearly why this seemingly simple issue has not been able to be resolved.
The government cannot decide on which groups of Alevis and which issues it should address. However, it is also required to see that such an expectation is not realistic anymore. The most reasonable option is to form a democratic and egalitarian ground as far as possible and leave the rest up to Alevis.