12th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Culture and the Arts
Alevi People

8/11/2014 KAHRAMANMARAS, TURKEY. A musician is rolling on the floor, playing his drum with great intensity, during a wedding party of a Kurdish-Alevi couple, in a village in the Kahramanmaraş region. Around 300 guests showed up and there was plenty of food and drinks for everyone. Women and men eat, drink, and dance together, unlike more conservative weddings in Turkey of Sunnis. After Christians and Yazidis, Alevis fear they're next in ISIS's long list of victims. Alevi are Turkey's biggest religious and cultural minority, as they make 10% of the population. Despite they're so big, they're not recognised by the state, while they've been oppressed for centuries by both larger religions and had to hide their religious practices. But Alevis have also to deal with an inside enemy, the country's Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, who views them as terrorists. According to a Turkish police report, last year, while 8 of the 9 people that died during the antigovernment protests died were Alevi.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 08.2014
Date Uploaded: 11.2014
Photo Location: Turkey
Camera: ILCE-6000
Copyright: © Nikos Pilos