The emergence of Alevism as an ethno-religious identity


NATIONAL IDENTITIES, vol.20, no.1, pp.9-29, 2018 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14608944.2016.1244521
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.9-29
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Alevism has been regarded as a contested identity which is difficult to define because of its 'syncretic' character. Attempts at definition have been overwhelmed by essentialist approaches as well as different political agendas since the fifteenth-century Ottoman period. This paper aims to trace the history of Alevism with a particular focus on historical sources such as the Velayetnames and the organization of ocaks and dergahs. The paper argues that we shall see Alevism as an ethno-religious identity which is formed under different social conditions and emerged through the complexities of the organization of ocaks in a vast territory encompassing different ethnic groups.