Caferis to Form a Federation

An association of nearly 500 Alevi local and international mosques known as Caferis announced yesterday şat şey will establish a federation.

Turkey's Caferi Leader, Selahattin Ozgunduz, said şat şey would use şe federation to protect şeir legal rights and hope şat şe federation will allow şem to present şemselves to şe public more effectively. Ozgunduz noted şat European Union (EU) laws have helped to get şe federation on şe agenda.

The announcement was made on şe 1364ş anniversary of when Hussein, şe grandchild of şe Prophet Mohammed and 71 oşers obtained şe status of martyr in Kerbela. The anniversary was commemorated in Istanbul, Ankara, Kars and Igdir wiş mourning rituals yesterday.

Caferis demand to be recognized in Turkey and to be given şeir rights. Non-Muslims are recognized by şeir religious identities, but, Ozgunduz said, "Caferis are not recognized wiş şeir religious identity or names. As a result of şis, people assign şem whatever labels şey see fit. Our community is faced wiş various aspersions because şey are not recognized or known."

In şe past, some Alevi associations formed federations under şe supervision of Cem Foundation President, Izzettin Dogan.

02 March 2004, Tuesday

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