By Tord Olsson

Within the emerging momentum for brand new and reformulated cultural identities, the Turkish Alevi have additionally emerged at the scene, difficult due attractiveness. during this procedure a few dramatic occasions have served as very important milestones: the clashes among Sunni and Alevi in Kahramanmaras in 1979 and Corum in 1980, the incendiarism in Sivas in 1992, and the riots in Istanbul (Gaziosmanpasa) in 1995. much less evocative, yet ultimately extra major, has been the emerging curiosity in Alevi folklore and non secular practices. Questions have additionally arisen as to what this department of Islamic heterodoxy represents when it comes to outdated and new identities. during this booklet, those questions are addressed through probably the most fashionable students within the box.

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Additional info for Alevi Identity: Cultural, Religious and Social Perspectives (Transactions (Svenska Forskningsinstitutet I Istanbul), V. 8.)

Sample text

Alevilik and Sünnilik The dede are rightly regarded as one of the keys to Alevi society: they are at once its focus, its teachers, temporal judges and links to their religious heritage. From the individual’s point of view, however, Aleviness can be more focused. ’ The phrase is well-known within mystical Islam, where it is called edep, the Alevi are distinctive in that they have made it part of the very core of their concept of religious fulfillment. The Alevi further characterise their way of life through a series of comparisons with the Sunni communities with which they are surrounded.

His study concentrates on social organization, but he also analyzes Alevi cosmology and ritual. Gökalp believes that the inextricable integration of the social and the religious sphere allowed the Çepni to preserve a type of social organization that he considers characteristic of Turkish tribes despite the Ottomans’ intention to break tribal autonomy and structures. For one who would prefer to emphasize the situational flexibility of ideological and social systems, the structuralist rigorism that marks Gökalp’s study might be somewhat too normative.

Academic and journalistic publications 29 scholar obliged to judge the academic—or otherwise—production of those he or she studies, is not always a pleasant one. I will, therefore, concentrate not so much on the immediate political and social dimensions of the social process that we might call the Alevi revival, as on its presentation in the media, specially the printed media. Inquiries Alevi-Bektashi studies were until recently largely the domain of the Ottomanists. They concentrated on the history of the Bektashi order (tarikat),4 which goes back to the 13th century, and the Babaî and Kızılbaş (lit.

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