On July 2, 1993, hundreds of locals in the northern Turkish province of Sivas watched and chanted as dozens of people were burned to death in Madımak Hotel, where famous Alevi intellectuals and public figures, along with Turkish author Aziz Nesin, gathered for an event.
A new start?
However, much of what the current Turkish government has done is cosmetic and carries mostly a symbolic meaning rather than a real reform to improve rights and freedoms of Alevis.Mahir Zeynalov
The prime minister has done more for Turkish democracy than any of his predecessors, including largely suspending public denial and assimilation of Alevis. New opportunities arose, along with deeper challenges as the new wave of democratization was started with the advent of Erdoğan in 2002. As the government has consolidated much of the state power in the past few years, it has also slowed down the process of granting broad rights and freedoms for the Alevi minority, who are estimated to be between 10 and 15 million.