The Alevi Bektashi Federation (ABF) has announced that the attack on their Cem House (Alevi place of worship) by the mayor of Ankara, Melih Gökçek is an attack on their creed, on their belief. Mayor Gökçek claimed that the Cemevi in the Dikmen Valley was not legal and it was therefore going to be demolished.
“If he disrespects our belief then we will show our reaction at the ballot box”
ABF’s announcement emphasized that Mayor Gökçek had been attacking many regions and universities using his urban transformation project, but he needed to be fair to all the beliefs:
“Gökçek should show the same respect he shows to the mosques within the boundaries of his project to all the believers and in fact to the nonbelievers as well. He should never forget that one of the duties of the municipalities is to make sure that the people can practice their beliefs freely. He should also not forget that if he disrespects our belief then the people of Ankara, the people of Dikmen will show their reaction at the ballot box”.
“Gökçek’s job is not to demolish things”
The ABF press release stated that it was not mayor’s job to demolish things. They reminded him that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had also tried to demolish a Cem House, the Karacaahmet Cem House to be exact, when he was the mayor of Istanbul, but now the Alevis are not on good terms with him.
Demonstration in front of the municipality
The members of the Hacı Bektaş Veli Anatolia Culture Foundation (HBVAKV) and the Hacı Bektaş Veli Culture and Publicity Association (HBVKD) have also reacted to Gökçek’s comments about the Dikmen Valley Cem House.
Protesting Gökçek in front of the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality by the Güven Park, the activists chanted slogans such as “Gökçek take off your hands from our Cem House” and “Gökçek don’t play with fire.” (OA/EZÖ/TB)
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