There was another detail that did not make the news in Turkish. Ali Kenanoglu, chairman of the Hubyar Sultan Alevi Culture Center, told Al-Monitor, “There were certain elders from prominent ‘dergahs’ [dervish lodges] at the iftar. This is important to note because these are respected associations of the Alevi community. Why did they feel obliged to attend? Because according to [Turkey’s] arcane rules, all dergahs belong to the state; every nine years, there is a new contract. So when the government sends an invitation, what option does the dergah elder have but to oblige?” The government indeed uses the properties of the Alevis against them: If they want to keep what little they have, they must comply.
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