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Review: Alevis in Turkey


  • Esin Çalışkan

    () (Queen Mary College, University of London, United Kingdom)


This review analyses the recent contributions of Elise Massicard and Markus Dressler to Alevi studies. While Massicard employs methods of political sociology and transnational identity politics, Dressler is concerned with the intrinsic relation between the religious and the secular as well as the place of religion in nation-state building projects. Massicard argues that formulating Alevism is context and actor dependent and shaped simultaneously in its interaction with diverse actors, which she calls “identity movement without an identity”. The emphasis on the audience in defining Alevism might stem from the inadequacy of the universal language of religion to accommodate Alevi expression. Similarly, Dressler argues that the modern Alevi tradition was constructed at the “intersection of Turkish nation building, modern religion discourse and Islamic apologetics” and criticises the modernist discourse on religion such as the heterodoxy/orthodoxy binary for its insufficiency to capture the complexities of different contexts

Suggested Citation

  • Esin Çalışkan, 2015. "Review: Alevis in Turkey," Kurdish Studies, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 3(1), pages 82-90, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:ksjrnl:v:3:y:2015:i:1:p:82-90

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