12th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
8/10/2014 TUNCELI, TURKEY. A broken old Alevi tombstone statue of a sheep, a holy animal for the Alevi in Dersim. Alevi say that in 1938, 1982, and 1993 the Turkish army destroyed Alevi graves.
After Christians and Yazidis, Alevis fear they're next in ISIS's long list of victims. Alevi are Turkey's biggest religious and cultural minority, as they make 10% of the population. Despite they're so big, they're not recognised by the state, while they've been oppressed for centuries by both larger religions and had to hide their religious practices.
But Alevis have also to deal with an inside enemy, the country's Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, who views them as terrorists. According to a Turkish police report, last year, while 8 of the 9 people that died during the antigovernment protests died were Alevi.
© Nikos Pilos.
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||Culture and the Arts
||Nov. 28, 2014, 12:14 p.m.