Houses of Alevis marked with crosses in western Turkey

In the western Turkish province of Yalova, houses belonging to Alevis have been marked with crosses. This causes fears among Alevis because it is reminiscent of preparations for earlier pogroms against the pre-Islamic religious community.

In the western Turkish province of Yalova, unknown persons marked the houses of Alevis with crosses. The incident occurred in the central district of Bağlarbaşı where a total of five houses belonging to Alevi families were daubed with red X and the word "Alevite". Acts such as these have been linked to pogroms and massacres against the pre-Islamic religious community many times in the history of the Turkish republic and rightly cause fears among their relatives.

The Yalova police have opened an investigation, but so far have no leads on the perpetrators. The incident in the province on the southeastern part of the Sea of Marmara is not an isolated case. Again and again, residential buildings of Alevis are branded with a red cross in Turkey. In October, graffiti reading"Death to Alevis" appeared on the garden wall of the house of an Alevi family in the Pendik district of Istanbul. Earlier, also in Istanbul, the premises of a cultural and meeting house of the Alevi community were graffitied by unknown persons with death threats. The perpetrators also robbed the contents of a donation box.

According to the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), the rise in incidents like these is due to the impunity of the perpetrators. "In the absence of significant investigations as a result of past threats against Alevis, the attacks continue. The political rulings that utter insults against Alevis under the protection of freedom of expression encourage the attackers," Tülay Hatimoğulları, the HDP deputy responsible for the Peoples and Religious Communities Commission, had said after the case in Pendik.