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Rudaw

Turkey

Alevi Kurds will likely leave Turkey if EU lifts visa limits, lawmaker says

By Rudaw 10/7/2016
Lawmaker Müslüm Doğan says discrimination against minorities has increased in Turkey. Photo: Rudaw
Lawmaker Müslüm Doğan says discrimination against minorities has increased in Turkey. Photo: Rudaw

ISTANBUL, Turkey— A Kurdish member of the Turkish parliament warns of “mass migration” of Alevi Kurds to the European Union if the travel restrictions are removed in accordance to a proposed deal between Turkey and the EU.  


Lawmaker Müslüm Doğan, an Alevi Kurd from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) told Rudaw the “pervasive discrimination practices” against the Alevis in Turkey has alienated their vulnerable community. 


“If the [EU visa] restrictions are lifted, the Alevis Kurds won’t live in Turkey anymore,” said Doğan who also briefly served as the minister of development in 2015.


“The Turkish system is religious and racist which has made life difficult for Kurds and the Alevis in the country,” he said and warned of “rise of fanaticism” in Turkey against minority groups. 


Less than two percent, around 800,000 people, of Turkey’s population are Alevi Muslims of which several thousands are Kurds, especially in the Kurdish city of Dersim. The Alevi is a sub-religion within the larger Shiite interpretation of Islam.   


Earlier this year European leaders welcomed Ankara’s offer to take back migrants who entered Europe from Turkey in return for more economic aid, faster EU membership talks and quicker visa-free travel for Turkish citizens.  

It is however unclear how the deal will be implemented without European Union’s promised aid which is currently in deadlock over Turkey’s refusal to change its anti-terrorism laws, as preconditioned by the EU to grant the $20 billion so called Migration Aid. 

Many also fear that with the sporadic clashes still ongoing in Turkey’s Kurdistan where large numbers of population have already been dislocated, many Kurds will choose to leave the country towards EU altogether if travel limits are lifted. 
 
“Entire neighborhoods have been destroyed in Kurdish cities with their national rights severely violated,” Doğan said.

“All of that really needs to be studied and addressed.”    

Comments

 
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mehrdad | 10/7/2016
wow....either the article is highly biased against the Alevis, or their statistics are quite outdated and old....based on most statistics around 15 million Alevis live in Turkey, amongst which almost 3 million are Kurds...where the article got its numbers is beyond me.....otherwise the article does not surprise me one bit....although leaving is what these systems desire, staying on an fighting if at all possible, yields much better results at the end....I hope most of the people stay behind, and fight Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Turkey all of which carrying various discriminatory policies towards the Kurds....
Mohamedzzz | 10/7/2016
Kurds should seperate religion from politics as soon as possible, otherwise religion will be Kurdish achilles tendon.
Observer | 10/7/2016
The authors has a wrong interpretation of Alevism. The majority of Alevis, especially the Kurds, do not consider themselves Muslims.
Shoresh | 10/7/2016
If visa lifted then millions more of donor Kabab shops will be opened all over Europe even in villages, then the Kabab war start between Kabab shops for kabab eaters especially among working classes.it should be called Kabab visa.god!! Save us from unhealthy donor Kababs.
Kthor | 11/7/2016
IF you want a better Turkey, fight for it! don't run away like a turkey
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