Irreplaceable Promise of All Elections: “Legal Status of Cemevis”

Legal status of cemevis, places of worship in Alevi faith, has long been a subject of discussion.

Although ECHR and some local courts decided that cemevis should be defined as places of worship and granted legal status, still it is a matter of election promise for political parties.

Let’s remember former promises:

Elections on November 1

Before the elections on November 1, 2015 former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu promised that the regulations regarding Alevi citizens’ demands would be in the government’s urgent action plan. The action plan included providing legal status for cemevis and salary payment to dedes (“grandfather”-religious leader in Alevism). However, none of those were put into practice.

Elections on June 24

After almost three years, AKP’s leader and President of Republic Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in his electorial speech that they would provide legal status for cemevis.


HDP’s Istanbul deputy candidate Ali Kenanoğlu said Alevis would never accept this move and reminded that AKP rejected ECHR’s verdict about the legal status of cemevis.