Alevi leaders slam CHP, HDP claims of sectarian rift with refugees

Published 07.04.2016 01:04

Two members from two opposition parties oppose the construction of a refugee camp in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş, claiming that the camp will give cause for discrimination between Alevis and Sunnis. Alevi leaders say that their claims do not reflect the truth.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has made efforts to care for Syrian refugees in Turkey and a new refugee camp is to be built in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş. The camp is designed to hold 27,000 refugees. Recently, however, many protestors gathered in the Sivricehüyük neighborhood of the province's Dulkadiroğlu district after a call from main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) Mersin Deputy Hüseyin Çamak and Mahmut Toğrul, Gaziantep deputy from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

In the past few days, CHP Deputy Chairman Veli Ağbaba wrote a letter to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu expressing his concern that the camp will be built in an area where the majority of citizens are Alevis, and that this could cause friction between Alevis and Sunnis.

Regarding the issue, World Ahlul Bayt Foundation Chairman Fermani Altun said on Wednesday: "Those people look at the issue with an ideological perspective," adding: "The population of the city of Kilis is 90,000, while the number of refugees there are 130,000. This is a sign of brotherhood and compassion there.

"Victims do not hold a specific identity or religion, as the cruel and ignorant do not have religion. Love, tolerance and hospitality are the basic tenets of religion. Meanwhile, these provocations and misguided expressions should not be taken to consideration and the anti-refugee reactions must be eliminated" Altun said.

Ahlul Bayt Wisdom and Brotherhood Association Chairman Ali Kemal Tayanç said: "These protests belong to people who try to cause a fit between Alevis and Sunnis. However, there is no such discrimination in Anatolia. Syrians are Muslim like us and they are our brothers. Real Alevis embrace all humanity without discrimination. In this respect, real Alevis do not discriminate against their Syrian brothers."

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