Minority Muslim group in Turkey in fear after houses marked overnight

The houses of members of Turkey’s Alevi Muslim minority in a neighbourhood of Malatya were marked with red paint in the night by unknown individuals, leading to concern among residents, according to Cumhuriyet newspaper.

“We have become worried as a result of this incident,” one unnamed local from Cemal Gürsel neighbourhood said. “The Sivas (massacre) came to mind … We want cameras and security for our street.”

The Sivas massacre of 1993 saw a crowd of angry Sunni Islamists burning down a hotel in which Alevi intellectuals were staying over what they saw as irreligious provocations.

“We have seen this type of thing (the marking of Alevi houses) in Adıyaman, Çorum and other provinces,” Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Head Veli Ağbaba, who was in the district talking to local residents, told Cumhuriyet.

“And after (the failed coup attempt on) July 15, some provocateurs said ‘Let’s march to Paşaköşkü’,” he said, referring to another Alevi-dominated area of Malatya.

“At that time, the people of Cemal Gürsel and Ataköy neighbourhoods protected Paşaköşkü,” Ağbaba said.

However, he added, “Despite all our insistence, they were not able to find those provocateurs and bring them to court.”