Turkey’s Culture Ministry to cover lighting expenses of cemevis

As part of a new regulation published in the Official Gazette, Turkey’s Culture Ministry will cover the lighting expenses of the cemevis, Alevi houses of worship.

Duvar English

The Culture and Tourism Ministry’s regulation on the Payment of Lighting Expenses of Cemevis was published in the Official Gazette on April 20.

Accordingly, the cemevis will make a written request to the provincial directorate of culture and tourism for the payment of lighting expenses.

The provincial directorate will notify the cemevis that the lighting expenses that meet the required conditions will be paid upon submission of an invoice. Every year, the provincial directorate will carry out on-site inspections of the cemevis.

On the other hand, lighting expenses of the sections used for commercial purposes will not be paid from the Ministry budget.

In 2022 with a presidential decree, a Presidency of Alevi-Bektashi Culture and Cemevi was established under the Culture and Tourism Ministry.

Alevis make up an estimated 15-25 percent of Turkey’s population, the second main religious group after Sunni Islam. Despite the fundamental differences in religious practices between the two groups, the Turkish government to-date refuses to acknowledge Alevi cemevi as the legitimate place of worship and to grant cemevis the same financial support as mosques. Instead, Turkey claims that cemevi is a cultural entity.