Alevis concerned after six homes marked in eastern Turkey

Şahismail Gezici / Elazığ, June 29 () - The Alevi community in the town of Yazıkonak in the eastern province of Elazığ has expressed concerns after six Alevi homes in the town were tagged with yellow paint.

Homes in the town belonging to people from the eastern province of Tunceli were among those which were tagged on their outer walls on Yazıkonak’s Belediye Street.

Behzat Hazır, the head of the Human Rights Association’s (İHD) Elazığ branch, said Alevi homes had been tagged in separate places in the past.

“We call on people to be level-headed toward tagging type of acts committed for the purposes of creating an environment of fear and panic, making people anxious and deepening the religious discrimination for confrontation between people” he said.

People from different ethnic backgrounds and faith had long been living in peace, Hazır said, adding the purpose of tagging by some “invisible hands” was to attack the culture of living together. 

Bekir Derman, an Alevi man whose home was tagged with yellow paint, said similar incidents sporadically happen across the country. “Some Alevi homes had been tagged in [several provinces in] Turkey before. It happened in Yazıkonak this time. My son told me in the morning that some homes were tagged, so was ours” he said.

Süleyman Öncü, another Alevi man whose home was tagged in Yazıkonak, said there had been no sectarian discrimination between Alevis and Sunnis living in the town thus far. “We figured when we woke up in the morning that our homes have been tagged. This never happened in Yazıkonak before... I call on our state to take whatever measures needed. We do not discriminate between Alevis and Sunnis, we always live in unity” he added. 

The incident came less than two weeks after a total of 16 Alevi homes were tagged by unknown people with red paint in the Tavşantepe district of the northwestern province of Kocaeli on June 15.



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