Alevi leaders call for end to Kurdish-Alevi violence
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULAug 06, 2014 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Aug 06, 2014 12:00 am
Alevi dedes, or leaders, and 40 Alevi associations in Turkey issued a joint statement and condemned recent riots in Istanbul where Alevi and Kurdish groups have collided.
Members of the community said the Alevi faith rejected violence and they were fed up with the violence in Gazi, Okmeydanı and other Istanbul neighborhoods where Alevis and Kurds linked to terrorist groups clashed over the past week. "This should come to an end. It does not matter who started the violence first," the statement said. "We don't want to lose people like İbrahim Öksüz and Uğur Kurt," the statement said.
İbrahim Öksüz was a textile worker who was shot dead when he was caught in the crossfire during a clash between supporters of the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H) and the Popular Front, a group linked to terrorist organization the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C). The Popular Front finds support among the Alevi youth while the YDG-H is primarily a Kurdish faction. Both groups have supporters in Istanbul's working-class neighborhoods such as Gazi and Okmeydanı.
Alevi leaders said Kurds cannot be blamed solely for the violence and the clashes were the work of provocateurs benefiting from tensions between Kurds and Alevis. "The sides should hold talks and end the tensions and violence," the statement said.