Transnational Communities 2: Alevis in Germany, France and Austria

Posted on 11. Februar 2015


transnational communities, alevi immigrantsAlevis in Germany

„German legal system, through the German Constitution, provides freedom of religion and no one is subjected to discrimination because of their religious. Germany, where many Alevis inhabit, is one of the largest European countries and the most important transnational space of Alevi community. According to a survey conducted by Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (2007: 13), 13 per cent of Turk immigrants in Germany are Alevis. As a result of multiculturalism policies that may respond to the cultural and religious diversities in Germany, Alevi immigrants have also many political opportunities to remedy their disadvantaged position due to their religious and cultural differences. However, Alevis have abstained from using this opportunity for years.“ The most important organization in Germany is the AABF (Federation of Alevi Communities in Germany) which is established in 1993: „Via the AABF, Alevis are legally recognized as a religious community. Hamburg, Bremen and Lower Saxony are defined ‚a liberal Islamic religious community‘ and recognized their religious holiday and fostered religious tuition in schools. […]“

Alevis in France

„Unlike AABF or Alevi organizations in Germany, Alevi organizations in France do not have the same political method that is focused on the context of religious diversity in Germany. Due to the ‚laicite‘ principle which means the separation of Church and the state, Alevi immigrants in France cannot lauch as a religious community, even though Alevi community in France have the similar rights like other religious community at the local level. Howeyer FUAF (Federation of Alevi Community in France) has struggled to be recognized as a cultural community because of the possible condition to be recognized Alevis in France […]“

Alevis in Austria

„According to estimates, about 80.000 Alevis live in Austria, of which around 30% have Austrian citizenship. The Alevi umbrella organization in Austria is the Federation of Alevi communities in Austria (AABF) with 8 Alevi organizations and nearly 2,000 members. AABF was established in 1998. Alevis are recognized as a religious community and they can even write their beliefs on their identity card as an Alevi. Also cemhous is accepted as a worship and Alevis‘ faith days are holidays. Alevis has also their own drave in Austria. […]“

Deniz Cosan Eke

Source: “Journal of Alevism – Bektashism Studies” 10/2014.