Alevis (Turkish: Aleviler Kurdish: Elewî) are a religious, sub-ethnic and cultural community in Turkey, numbering in the millions. See also Shi'a Islam Twelver Shi'ism ( ar اثنا عشرية Ithnāˤashariyyah) is the largest branch of Shi'a branch of Islam Alevis (Aleviler Elewî are a religious sub-ethnic and cultural community in Turkey, numbering in the millions In Alevism, Ali-Muhammad refers to the individuals Ali and Muhammad who exist as a single entity or light of Aql. Yunus Emre (1238?–1320? was a Turkish poet and Sufi mystic. Pir Sultan Abdal (ca 1480 - 1550 a legendary Turkish Alevi (Sufi poet whose direct and clear language as well as the richness of his imagination and the beauty of his verses led him Hajji Bektash Wali ( Ḥājī Baktāš Wālī; Turkish: Hacı Bektaş Veli) was a Persian ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (a=علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب|t=ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib 13th Rajab, 24 BH – 21st Ramaḍān, 40 AH See also Hasan ibn Ali Hassan ibn Ali is Shi’ahs’ second Imam, and is also known as Al-Mujtaba and Sibtil Akbar (the elder and Ḥusayn ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib ( ar حسين بن علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب) (third of Shaban 4 AH / 8th January 626 AD at Medina ‘Alī ibn Ḥusayn (Arabic علي بن حسين) (approximately 6 January 659 - 20 October 712 is a great-grandson of Muhammad as well as the fourth Muḥammad ibn ‘Alī al-Baqir (محمد ابن علي الباقر) (676-743 AD or 1 Rajab 57 AH – 7 Dhu al-Hijjah 114 AH was the Fifth Imām Jaʿfar al-Sadiq (702-765 in accurate transliteration Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq Arabic: جعفر الصادق in full Jaʿfar ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Husayn Mūsá ibn Ja‘far ibn Muḥammad al-Kāżim (الإمام موسى الكاظم ( October 28, 746 AD - September 1, 799 / Ali ibn Musa al-Rida ( علي بن موسى الرضا) (Commonly known as Ali ar-Ridha Ali Reza (Eleventh of Dhu al-Qi'dah, 148 AH – Seventeenth of Muhammad al-Taqi or Muhammad al-Jawad ( Arabic: الإمام محمد الجواد) ( Rajab 10 195 AH - Dhu al-Qi'dah 29 Imam Ali al-Hadi (الإمام علي الهادي also known as Imam Ali al-Naqi ( September 8, 828 &ndash July 1, 868) was Hasan al- Askari (الإمام الحسن بن علي العسكري (Eighth of Rabi' al-thani 232 AH – Eighth of Rabi' al-awwal 260 AH According to Twelver Shi'as Imam Hujjat al-Mahdī ( ar المهدى) (or Hujjat ibn Hasan ibn Ali is the twelfth Imam and the Haqq-Ali-Muhammad refers to a Trinity in Alevism that involves truth ( haqq) Ali ibn Abu Talib ( Ali) and Muhammad. Four Doors refers to a concept in Alevism, and to a lesser extent in other branches of Islam such as Ismailism, that there are four paths to Allah Insan-i Kamil, loosely translated as the "Perfect Man" or "Perfect Human Being" is derived from the Arabic Al-Insān al-Kāmil (الاسان الكام The Qur’an ( القرآن, literally "the recitation" also sometimes transliterated as Qur’ān, Koran, Alcoran The Buyruks are a collection of spiritual books providing the basis of the Alevi value system Major ideas in Sufi metaphysics have surrounded the concept of Wahdat or "Unity" According to some Muslim groups the Zahir is the external or apparent meaning of the Quran. Batin is defined as the interior or hidden meaning of the Quran. Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all Food, Drink, or both for a period of time Music is an Art form in which the medium is Sound organized in Time. This is a sub-article of Islamic economical jurisprudence. Zakaat ( زكاة zækæːh zakaat or zakāh, has the implied Ziyarat is a pilgrimage to sites associated with the Islamic prophet Muhammad, his companions, or other venerated figures in Islamic history Persecution of Shia MuslimsWithin Shi'ite Islamic tradition the concept of Taqiyya (تقية - 'fear guard against' refers to a dispensation allowing believers to conceal The resolution of Alevi community disputes or problems in a Dushkunluk Meydani (Düşkünlük Meydanı or 'People's Court' presided over by the Alevi Dede. A dede is a socio-religious leader in the Alevi community The institution of dede is the most important of all the institutions integral to the social and religious organization In Alevism, a Murshid is a rank of Dede. In Alevism, a Pir is a rank of Dede. See also Pir In Alevism, a Rehber is a rank of Dede. A Rehber assists the Mursid (Dede provides information to the newcomers and prepares them for commitment to the Alevisim In terms of their internal organization every Alevi community follows a particular darga, sometimes an ojak The central Alevi worship service is called a Jem (Turkish Cem or ayini Jem, meaning congregational or assembly meeting A Cemevi (pronounced and sometimes written as Djemevi) means literally a house of gathering in Turkish, (Cem=public-gathering/ev=house and is a place of An Alevi religious leader related to a Dede. Nowrūz ( /noruz/ ↔, (English New Day various local pronunciations and spellings) is the traditional Iranian New year Holiday celebrated The Day of Ashura ( ar عاشوراء, Ashura Ashoura and other spellings is on the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar and marks the climax Bektashism (Bektaşilik is an Islamic Sufi order ( Tariqat) considered to be a distinct branch of Shi'a Islam Qizilbash or Kizilbash ( Nastaliq: قزلباش - Qizilbāš; Ottoman Turkish for "Red Heads" is a name given to a wide The Sivas massacre ( Turkish: Sivas Madımak Olayı or Sivas Katliamı) refers to the events of July 2 1993 which resulted in the deaths of 37 Turkish ( tr Türkçe IPA) is a language spoken by over 63 million people worldwide making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. The Kurdish language (Kurdish Kurdî or کوردی is a term used for the language spoken by Kurds. Turkey (Türkiye known officially as the Republic of Turkey ( is a Eurasian Country that stretches (See "Demographics" for various population estimates. )
Alevi worship takes place in assembly houses (cemevi), not in mosques. A Cemevi (pronounced and sometimes written as Djemevi) means literally a house of gathering in Turkish, (Cem=public-gathering/ev=house and is a place of The ceremony (âyîn-i cem, or simply cem) features music and dance (semah), which symbolize the putting off of one’s self and uniting with God. In Alevism, men and women are regarded as equals, and pray side by side.
Key Alevi principles include:
Some consider Alevism a type of Shi'a Islam (and specifically, of Twelvers (Ithna-'Ashariyya), since Alevis accept Shi‘i beliefs about Imam Ali and the Twelve Imams. See also Shi'a Islam Twelver Shi'ism ( ar اثنا عشرية Ithnāˤashariyyah) is the largest branch of Shi'a branch of Islam ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (a=علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب|t=ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib 13th Rajab, 24 BH – 21st Ramaḍān, 40 AH Many Alevis, however, are uncomfortable describing themselves as Shi‘i, since there are major differences in philosophy, customs, and rituals from the prevailing form of Shi‘ism in modern Iran. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics.
Alevism is also closely related to the Bektashi Sufi lineage, in the sense that both venerate Hajji Bektash Wali (Hacibektaş Veli), a saint of the 13th century. Bektashism (Bektaşilik is an Islamic Sufi order ( Tariqat) considered to be a distinct branch of Shi'a Islam Sufism ( تصوّف - taṣawwuf, Persian: صوفیگری sufigari, Turkish: tasavvuf, Urdu: تصوف Hajji Bektash Wali ( Ḥājī Baktāš Wālī; Turkish: Hacı Bektaş Veli) was a Persian Many Alevis refer to an "Alevi-Bektashi" tradition, but this identity is not universally accepted, nor is the combined name used by non-Turkish Bektashis (e. g. , in the Balkans).
In addition to its religious aspect, Alevism is also closely associated with Anatolian folk culture. The Kurdish and Turkish languages (not Arabic) are generally used in Alevi rituals.
Modern Alevi theology has been profoundly influenced by humanism and universalism. Theology is the study of a god or the gods from a religious perspective Humanism is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appealing to universal Universalism can be classified as a Religion, Theology and Philosophy that generally holds all persons and creatures are related to God or the Divine and During the 1960s, many younger Alevis came to conceive of Alevism in non-religious terms, with some even relating it to Marxism. Marxism is the political philosophy and practice derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The 1990s brought a new emphasis on Alevism as an ethnic or cultural identity. Alevi communities today generally support secularism after the Kemalist model, partly out of mistrust of majoritarian religiosity. Secularism in Turkey was introduced with the Turkish Constitution of 1924 and later the Atatürk's Reforms set the administrative and political requirements to create Kemalist Ideology " Kemalism " (Kemalist İdeoloji Kemalizm Atatürkçülük Atatürkçü Düşünce or also known as the " Six Arrows " (Altı
Alevis in Khorasan, Armenia and Azerbaijan speak dialects of Kurmanji or Zazaki. For the dialect sometimes called Southern Kurmanji Dialect see: Sorani Kurmanji: ( Kurdish: Kurmancî called Bahdînî Various groups with similar beliefs exist in Northwestern Iran and Northern Iraq, including the Ibrahimi, Sarliyya, Kakai, Shabaks and Ahl-e Haqq. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. The Shabak people is a minority group of Iraq who live in the province of Ninawa. The Ahl-e Haqq or Yârsân ( Kurdish: ﯼاڔﮦساﻥ Yâresân اهل حق Ahl-e Haqq "People of Truth" are members of a religion founded
"Alevi" is generally explained as referring to ˤAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib - cousin, son-in-law, and fostered son of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (a=علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب|t=ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib 13th Rajab, 24 BH – 21st Ramaḍān, 40 AH Muslims regard as Prophets of Islam ( Arabic: نبي) those non-divine humans chosen by Allah as Prophets IMPORTANT PLEASE READ ##### For all questions relating to the addition of (pbuh peace be upon him or other honorifics The name is a Turkish and Kurdish pronunciation of the Arabic ˤAlawī علوي "of or pertaining to ˤAlī". However, the Turkish and Kurdish-speaking Alevi are not to be confused with the ˤAlawī of Syria, with whom they have little in common other than a shared veneration for ˤAlī. For the Alaouite dynasty of Morocco see Alaouite Dynasty, for the former state now in Yemen see Alawi (sheikhdom The Alawites
An alternative (and less accepted) explanation for the name "Alevi" is that it comes from the Turkish word alev, meaning "flame. "
Alevi are sometimes called "Qizilbashi" (see "History" for an explanation) and some embrace this name. Qizilbash or Kizilbash ( Nastaliq: قزلباش - Qizilbāš; Ottoman Turkish for "Red Heads" is a name given to a wide Others view this as a pejorative (implying that their allegiance lies with Iran rather than Turkey). Many other names exist (often for subgroupings), among them Tahtacı "Woodcutters", Abdal "Bards" and Çepni.
Attempts to identify the origin of Alevism are inherently controversial. The history of the Alevis is that of a community of heterodox Shia Muslims of Anatolia and neighbouring regions Many Alevis trace their tradition to primitive Islam and the Twelve Imams, a conclusion which some prominent scholars agree.  Others see Alevism as a pre-Islamic substrate which acquired a veneer of Shīˤī theology, and disagree as to whether to describe this folk culture as Turkic or Persianate. Still others detect Orthodox Christian influence, perhaps Armenian. More than one of these viewpoints might be true simultaneously.
During the Seljuk period (eleventh and twelfth centuries), northern Iran and eastern Anatolia fell under the domination of nomadic Turkic tribes migrating out of Central Asia. The Great Seljuq Empire was a Medieval Sunni Muslim empire established by the Qynyq branch of Oghuz Turks that once controlled Nomadic people, (from the νομάδες nomádes, "those who let pasture herds" also known as nomads, are communities of people that Central Asia is a region of Asia from the Caspian Sea in the west to central China in the east and from southern Russia in the north to northern Pakistan in the south Their conversion to Shīˤī Islam came during the Ilkhanate Mongol period by means of charismatic Sufi missionaries, who typically established family-based lineages. The Ilkhanate, also spelled Il-khanate or Il Khanate (Ил Хан улс Il Khan uls;) was a Mongol Khanate established in The poet Yunus Emre and wonder-working saint Hajji Bektash Wali, whose names would later become associated with Alevism, lived during this period (or shortly after), if the latter figure is not entirely legendary. Yunus Emre (1238?–1320? was a Turkish poet and Sufi mystic. Hajji Bektash Wali ( Ḥājī Baktāš Wālī; Turkish: Hacı Bektaş Veli) was a Persian
The forms of Shīˤism which arose in such groups typically neglected practices emphasized by the Shīˤī mainstream (such as daily prayer). At the same time, religious practices, beliefs, and institutions would have become difficult to distinguish from secular ones such as folk dances, or the tribal leadership structure. It is likely that elements of nomadic Turkish society such as these have survived into later Alevism as well. For example, shamanic influences have been detected in the Alevi "Crane Dance".
Another theory (favored particularly by Kurdish Alevis) is that, as these Turkic tribes migrated across the Iranian cultural sphere they adopted various elements of pre-Islamic Iranian religions. As evidence they point to similarities between Alevism and Kurdish religious movements such as Yarsansim and Yazidism. The Ahl-e Haqq or Yârsân ( Kurdish: ﯼاڔﮦساﻥ Yâresân اهل حق Ahl-e Haqq "People of Truth" are members of a religion founded The Yazidi (also Yezidi, Kurdish: ئزیدی or Êzidî, Arabic: يزيدي or ايزدي Assyrian/Syriac: ܓ̰ܠܟܝܐ is a
In any case, these nomadic Turkic groups came to occupy the borderlands between two great sedentary societies, the Ottoman Empire and Safavid Persia, which though founded by nomadic Turks like themselves, gradually distanced themselves from this Central Asian heritage. The Ottoman Empire (1299–1923 ( Old Ottoman Turkish: دولتْ علیّه عثمانیّه Devlet-i Âliye-yi Osmâniyye, Late Ottoman and Modern Turkish The Safavids ( صفوی) were an Iranian ref>Helen Chapin Metz
Shah Isma'il was a hereditary leader of the Safaviyya Sufi order centered in Ardabil who led his (predominantly Azeri) followers, called Qizilbashi Redheads after their distinctive headgear, in conquering Persia. Shah is an Iranian term for a Monarch (leader that has been adopted in many other languages Ardabil ( Persian and Azeri: اردبیل also known as Ardebil; Old Persian: Artavil The Azerbaijanis are an Ethnic group mainly in the Republic of Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran. Qizilbash or Kizilbash ( Nastaliq: قزلباش - Qizilbāš; Ottoman Turkish for "Red Heads" is a name given to a wide The result was the founding of the Safavid Dynasty, and the conversion of Iran to Shīˤism. The Safavids ( صفوی) were an Iranian ref>Helen Chapin Metz Shah Ismail's personal religious views are reflected in his Turkish-language Sufi poetry of a ghulat nature (he claimed divinity), of which selections came to be included in Alevi scriptural compilations, the Buyruks. Ghulat (غلاة Exaggerators is the adjectival form of Ghuluww (غلو Exaggeration, a technical term mainstream Muslims The Buyruks are a collection of spiritual books providing the basis of the Alevi value system The religion of the Iranian populace, however, fell under the domination of imported Arab clerics who downplayed the ghulat beliefs of the Turkish warrior class. The araB gene Promoter is a bacterial promoter activated by e L-arabinose binding
Meanwhile, the rulers of the Ottoman Empire gradually distanced themselves from their nomadic Turkic heritage, ultimately (during the thirteenth century) adopting the Sunnism of their Mediterranean subjects. Sunni Islam is the largest denomination of Islam. Sunni Islam is also referred to as Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamā‘h (Arabic During the long rivalry with Safavid Persia Qizilbashi tribes fought for Persian (or local) control of the Anatolian highlands, and were responsible for several 15th and 16th century uprisings against the Ottomans. The 1555 Peace of Amasya found them on the "wrong" side of the Ottoman / Persian border, as subjects of an Ottoman court which viewed them with suspicion. The Peace of Amasya was a treaty agreed to in 1555 by Shah Tahmasp of Persia and Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent of Turkey at the Massacres of Qizilbashi occurred.
The career of Pir Sultan Abdal (assuming he existed as a single person) takes place in this context. Pir Sultan Abdal (ca 1480 - 1550 a legendary Turkish Alevi (Sufi poet whose direct and clear language as well as the richness of his imagination and the beauty of his verses led him Apparently a 16th century folk musician from Sivas, Pir Sultan Abdal was known for playing a stringed instrument called the bağlama and singing songs critical of his Ottoman governors, in defense of the rights of the Anatolian peasantry. Sivas (the late-Classical and Medieval Sebastia, sometimes spelt Sebastea or Sebasteia, Greek: Σεβάστεια, Armenian The bağlama is a stringed Musical instrument shared by various Cultures in the Eastern Mediterranean, Near East, and Central Hanged for fomenting rebellion, he became another beloved figure in Alevi folklore and is now often invoked as a symbol of Alevism's leftist aspect. He is also preferred by Alevi Kurds, who appreciate his protest against the Turkish establishment, over Hajji Bektash Wali (whom they identify with the Turks).
Under Ottoman rule the Alevi emerged as an endogamous ethnic group, primarily Turkish-speaking (but also including Kurdish communities), concentrated in rural Anatolia. Endogamy is the practice of marrying within a social group. Cultures who practice endogamy require marriage between specified social groups classes or ethnicities (One writer speculates that Dersim's Kurds converted to Alevism from another ghulat sect. Tunceli ( Zazaki: Dêrsım, is a province in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. ) Led by hereditary dedes, and sometimes by Bektashi dervishes, they practiced taqiyya "dissimulation, secrecy" about their religion. Darvesh or Dervish ( Arabic and Persian: درویش) as it is known in European languages refers to members of Sufi Persecution of Shia MuslimsWithin Shi'ite Islamic tradition the concept of Taqiyya (تقية - 'fear guard against' refers to a dispensation allowing believers to conceal
Bektashi identity may have been adopted to this end, since the Bektashis were technically Sunni and tolerated by the court. Bektashism (Bektaşilik is an Islamic Sufi order ( Tariqat) considered to be a distinct branch of Shi'a Islam After the 1826 disbanding of the Janissary Corps, the now-proscribed Bektashi order began to meet underground, like the Alevi. The Janissaries (derived from Ottoman Turkish ينيچرى ( yeniçeri) meaning "new soldier" comprised Infantry units that formed Adherents of the two groups blurred together to some extent. In the years before and during World War I the Çelebi family, one of two leadership groups associated with the shrine of Hacı Bektaş, attempted to extend its authority to the village Bektashi (Alevi) dedes, whose own hierarchy was in disarray. Some Alevi groups accepted this Bektashi authority, others did not. 
Alevis were early supporters of Atatürk, who they credit with ending Ottoman-era discrimination against them, while Kurdish Alevis viewed his rise with caution. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (19 May 1881 &ndash 10 November 1938 was an army officer revolutionary Statesman His 1925 banning of Sufi tariqas also applied to the Alevis and Bektashis, who must have viewed the move with mixed feelings. Tariqah ( ar طريقه; pl طرق; Ṭuruq or Persian: Tarighat, Turkish: Tarikat) means "way" At the same time the "Turkish" culture which Atatürk promoted was largely inspired by Alevi traditions. Many Kurdish Alevis fought against the 1925 Kurdish rebellion, but took the Kurdish side in the Dersim rebellion of the 1930s. Dersim Rebellion is the rebellion lead by Seyid Riza of Kizilbash Zaza elites who was chief of the Abbasuşağı tribe against Turkey
Among Turkish Alevis, Kemalism lost much of its appeal during the 1960s, when Turkish nationalists made common cause with Sunni religious groups. Kemalist Ideology " Kemalism " (Kemalist İdeoloji Kemalizm Atatürkçülük Atatürkçü Düşünce or also known as the " Six Arrows " (Altı As a result of this, and other trends such as urbanization, younger Alevis gravitated toward socialism, then (after the fall of the Soviet bloc) ethno-nationalism. Even so, portraits of Atatürk remain ubiquitous in Alevi circles, and some Alevis even perceive him as a religious hero.
Contact with Sunni groups among urbanized Alevi led to political clashes in the 1970s, which often pitted nationalist Sunnis against socialist-leaning Alevis. Sunni mobs killed Alevis in Malatya, Kahramanmaraş, and Çorum. Malatya ( Hittite: Melid; Greek: Μαλάτεια Malateia; Armenian: Մալաթիա Malatia; Kurdish: Kahramanmaraş is the capital city of Kahramanmaraş Province in southeastern Turkey. Çorum is the capital of Çorum Province inland from the Black Sea coast in central Turkey. 1980 brought martial law (which disproportionately targeted Alevis, given their leftist alignment). With the political thaw of the 1990s, Alevis in Turkey, influenced by the activities of their brethren in Europe, especially Germany, began to actively publish Alevi books, and open Alevi cultural centers. 
On July 2, 1993, Alevis were celebrating the Pir Sultan Abdal Festival. The Sivas massacre ( Turkish: Sivas Madımak Olayı or Sivas Katliamı) refers to the events of July 2 1993 which resulted in the deaths of 37 Events 310 - Pope Miltiades is elected 626 - In fear of assassination Li Shimin ambushes and kills his rival Year 1993 ( MCMXCIII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar) Coming out of mosques after their Friday's prayer, a mob of 20,000 or so Sunnis surrounded the Madimak hotel, chanting anti-Alevi and pro-sharia slogans. They set the hotel on fire and pelted the hotel with stones. While the fire killed thirty three Alevis, the police, soldiers, and the fire-department did nothing to stop the fire, or save the people. The events surrounding the massacre were captured by TV cameras and broadcast all over the world. Every year, during the anniversary of the massacre, various Alevi organizations call for the arrest of those responsible. 33 individuals were sentenced to death in 1997 for crimes related to the massacre.
There was also a drive-by shooting of Alevis in Istanbul's Gazi neighborhood in 1995 which resulted in the death of some Alevis. Then when protests followed police periodically opened fire on the demonstrators. When the protests were over there were a total of fifteen Alevis killed. The result was a revival of Alevi identity, and debate over this identity which continues today.
The Alevi population has been estimated as follows:
The majority of Alevis are ethnic Turks. The Turkish people (Türk Halkı also known as " Turks " ( Türkler) are defined mainly as being speakers of Turkish as a First language Some are Kurds. Some are Zazaki, a group whose members either consider themselves Kurds with a different language, or as a distinct ethnicity. Some Alevis are Azeris. The Azerbaijanis are an Ethnic group mainly in the Republic of Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran. Despite universalist rhetoric (and in contrast with Islam in general, or the Bektashi order), Alevi communities do not generally acknowledge the possibility of conversion to Alevism.
Alevi communities are concentrated in central Anatolia, in a belt from Chorum in the west to Mush in the east. Çorum is the capital of Çorum Province inland from the Black Sea coast in central Turkey. Muş (alternative spelling Mush) is the provincial capital of Muş Province in Turkey. The only province within Turkey with an Alevi majority is Tunceli, formerly known as Dersim. Tunceli ( Zazaki: Dêrsım, is a province in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. Beginning in the 1960s, many Alevis have migrated to the large cities of western and southern Turkey--as well as to western Europe, especially Germany--and are now heavily urbanized.
There are also large communities of Alevis in some regions of Iranian Azerbaijan. This article is about the region in Iran for other uses see Azerbaijan (disambiguation. The town of Ilkhichi (İlxıçı), which is located 87 km south west of Tabriz is almost entirely populated by Alevis. Ilkhichi ( Persian & Azerbaijani: ایلخچی is a rather small town south east of Tabriz in East Azarbaijan (Iran Tabriz ( تبریز, تبریز) is the largest city in northwestern Iran. For political reasons, one of which was to create a distinct identity for these communities, they have not been called Alevi since the early 20th century. They are called various names, such as Ali Illahi, Ahl-e Haqq and Goran. The Ahl-e Haqq or Yârsân ( Kurdish: ﯼاڔﮦساﻥ Yâresân اهل حق Ahl-e Haqq "People of Truth" are members of a religion founded Goran may refer to First name Goran (Serbian Горан) is a male first name often used in Croatia Serbia Montenegro Bulgaria and Macedonia
Groups with similar beliefs also exist in Iranian Kurdistan. Iranian Kurdistan ( Kurdish: کوردستانی ئران Kurdistanî Iran) or Kurdistana Rojhilat (Eastern Kurdistan or Rojhilatê Interestingly both the Dersim (Kirmancki / Zaza) people and the Gorani, who are both considered as belonging to the Hawramani branch of the proto-Kurdish language, adhere to a form of Alevi faith which resembles in many significant respects, such as the perpetuation of a caste system, the religions of the Druze or Yazidi. Tunceli ( Zazaki: Dêrsım, is a province in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. The Zazas or Dimilis are an Iranic (Aryan ethnic group and an ethnic minority in Turkey. The Kurdish language (Kurdish Kurdî or کوردی is a term used for the language spoken by Kurds. The Druze ( Arabic: درزي derzī or durzī, plural دروز durūz) are a religious community found primarily in Syria, Lebanon The Yazidi (also Yezidi, Kurdish: ئزیدی or Êzidî, Arabic: يزيدي or ايزدي Assyrian/Syriac: ܓ̰ܠܟܝܐ is a
A Turkish scholar working in France has distinguished four main groups among contemporary Alevis, which cautiously show their distinctive features in modern Turkey. 
Alevi beliefs are hard to define, since Alevism is a diverse movement without any central authority, and its boundaries with other groups are poorly demarcated. Many teachings are based on an orally transmitted tradition which has traditionally been kept secret from outsiders (but is now widely accessible). The basis for Alevism's most distinctive beliefs is found in the Buyruks (compiled writings and dialogues of Sheikh Safi al-Din (eponym of the Safavi order), Ja'far al-Sadiq (the Sixth Imam), and other worthies). The Buyruks are a collection of spiritual books providing the basis of the Alevi value system Sheikh Safi-ad-din Is'haq Ardabili (of Ardabil) (1252-1334 ( Eponym of the Safavid dynasty, was the spiritual heir and son in law of the great Jaʿfar al-Sadiq (702-765 in accurate transliteration Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq Arabic: جعفر الصادق in full Jaʿfar ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Husayn Also included are hymns (nefes) by figures such as Shah Ismail or Pir Sultan Abdal, stories of Hajji Bektash and other lore. Pir Sultan Abdal (ca 1480 - 1550 a legendary Turkish Alevi (Sufi poet whose direct and clear language as well as the richness of his imagination and the beauty of his verses led him
Various opinions exist as to the nature of 'Ali. Most would credit him with supernatural strength and wisdom (surpassed only by the prophets), as well as a uniquely intimate connection with the Prophet Muhammad:
Many Alevi perceive a mystical unity between Ali and Muhammad (see Ali-Muhammad), and liken their relationship to the two sides of a coin, or two halves of an apple:
The phrase "For the love of God, Muhammed, Ali” (Hak-Muhammed-Ali aşkına), common to several Alevi prayers, may be taken as equating the authority of the three, or even as an attribution of divinity to 'Ali and Muhammad. In Alevism, Ali-Muhammad refers to the individuals Ali and Muhammad who exist as a single entity or light of Aql. In light of the Islamic emphasis on monotheism, such theories are deeply controversial. For the Celtic Frost album see Monotheist (album In Theology, monotheism (from Greek grc [[wiktμόνος μόνος]]
Each of the Twelve Imams is said to partake of the "light" (Nur) of 'Ali. Noor is the link which binds Being to Knowledge in Sufism. The word itself means light. Thus Ali ibn Abi Talib is called the "First Ali" (birinci ali), Hussayn ibn 'Alī the 'Second 'Ali' (ikinci ali), and so on up to the "Last 'Ali" (Onikinci Ali), Muhammad al-Mahdi. ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (a=علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب|t=ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib 13th Rajab, 24 BH – 21st Ramaḍān, 40 AH Ḥusayn ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib ( ar حسين بن علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب) (third of Shaban 4 AH / 8th January 626 AD at Medina According to Twelver Shi'as Imam Hujjat al-Mahdī ( ar المهدى) (or Hujjat ibn Hasan ibn Ali is the twelfth Imam and the
Despite this essentially Shi‘i orientation, much of Alevism's mystical language is inspired by Sunni traditions. For example, the Alevi concept of God is derived from the philosophy of Ibn al-'Arabi and involves a chain of emanation from God, to spiritual man, earthly man, animals, plants, and minerals. TemplateInfobox Muslim scholars --> Ibn Arabi (ابن عربي ( July 28, 1165 - November 10, 1240) was an Emanationism is Platonic monism and an idea in the Cosmology or Cosmogony of certain religious or philosophical systems The goal of spiritual life is to follow this path in the reverse direction, to unity with God, or Haqq (Reality, Truth). Haqq (حقّ is the Arabic word for truth. In Islamic context it is also interpreted as Righteousness, Right and (certain From the highest perspective, all is God (see Wahdat-ul-Wujood). Major ideas in Sufi metaphysics have surrounded the concept of Wahdat or "Unity" Alevis often admire Mansur Al-Hallaj, a 10th century Sufi executed in Baghdad for blasphemy for saying “I am Truth” (Ana al-Haqq). Mansur al-Hallaj ( Arabic: منصور الحلاج - Mansūr al-Hallāj - Mansūr-e Hallāj; full name Abū al-Mughīth Husayn Mansūr Sufism ( تصوّف - taṣawwuf, Persian: صوفیگری sufigari, Turkish: tasavvuf, Urdu: تصوف Baghdad (بغداد) is the Capital of Iraq and of Baghdad Governorate, with which it is also coterminous
Another important Alevi concept is that of the "Perfect Human Being" (Insan-i Kamil). Insan-i Kamil, loosely translated as the "Perfect Man" or "Perfect Human Being" is derived from the Arabic Al-Insān al-Kāmil (الاسان الكام (This wording is Sunni; the Shi‘i counterpart would be the "Perfect Shi'a". A Real Shi'a is a recurring thought in the Shi'a Theology. It implies that it is not enough to be the partisan of Ali to qualify to bear the title "Shi'a" ) Most Alevis would think first of Ali, Hajji Bektash Wali, or the other saints. However the Perfect Human Being has also been identified with our true identity as pure consciousness, hence the Qur'anic concept of human beings not having original sin, consciousness being pure and perfect. Consciousness has been defined loosely as a constellation of attributes of Mind such as Subjectivity, Self-awareness, Sentience, and the The Qur’an ( القرآن, literally "the recitation" also sometimes transliterated as Qur’ān, Koran, Alcoran The human task is to fully realise this state while still in material human form.
Many Alevis would define the Perfect Human Being in practical terms, as one who is in full moral control of his or her hands, tongue and loins (eline diline beline sahip); treats all kinds of people equally (yetmiş iki millete aynı gözle bakar); and serves the interests of others. One who has achieved this kind of enlightenment is also called eren or munavver.
The Alevi spiritual path (yol) is commonly understood to take place through four major life-stages, or "gates":
These may be further subdivided into "four gates, forty levels (dört kapı kırk makam). The first gate (religious law) is considered elementary (and in this we may perceive a subtle criticism of other Muslim traditions).
Alevi legal principles do exist. The following are major crimes that cause an Alevi to be declared düşkün (shunned):
Most Alevi activity takes place in the context of the second gate (spiritual brotherhood), during which one submits to a living spiritual guide (dede, pir, mürşit). The existence of the third and fourth gates is mostly theoretical, though some older Alevis have apparently received initiation into the third. 
The central Alevi corporate worship service is the cem (a Kurdish word meaning congregational or assembly meeting). The ceremony's prototype is the Prophet Muhammad's nocturnal ascent into heaven, where he beheld a gathering of forty saints (Kırklar Meclisi), and the Divine Reality made manifest in their leader, Ali. Although unrelated "Miraj" can also refer to the Islamic tradition according Muhammad 's ascent to heaven
Semah, a family of ritual dances characterized by turning and swirling, is an inseparable part of any cem. It is performed by men and women, to the accompaniment of the bağlama. The bağlama is a stringed Musical instrument shared by various Cultures in the Eastern Mediterranean, Near East, and Central
The Rite of Integration (görgü cemi) is a complex ritual occasion in which a variety of tasks are allotted to incumbents bound together by extrafamilial brotherhood (musahiplik), who undertake a dramatization of unity and integration under the direction of the spiritual leader (dede).
The phrase mum söndü ("The candle went out") alludes to a holy moment of some cem rituals in which twelve candles (representing the Twelve Imams) are doused with water. Contrary to a hoary tradition of Sunni gossip, and to the undoubted disappointment of many, orgies apparently do not follow (though it is of course difficult to prove a negative). Group sex is Sexual behaviour involving more than two participants at the same time Rather, participants lament the martyrdom of various holy figures.
Musahiplik (roughly, "Companionship") is a covenant relationship between two men of the same age, preferably along with their wives. In a ceremony in the presence of a dede the partners make a life-long commitment to care for the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of each other and their children. The ties between couples who have made this commitment is at least as strong as it is for blood relatives, so much so that müsahiplik is often called spiritual brotherhood (manevi kardeşlik). The children of covenanted couples may not marry. 
Krisztina Kehl-Bodrogi reports that the Tahtaci identify musahiplik with the first gate (şeriat), since they regard it as a precondition for the second (tarikat). Those who attain to the third gate (marifat, "gnosis") must have been in a musahiplik relationship for at least twelve years. Entry into the third gate dissolves the musahiplik relationship (which otherwise persists unto death), in a ceremony called Öz Verme Ayini ("ceremony of giving up the self").
The value corresponding to the second gate (and necessary to enter the third) is aşinalik ("intimacy," perhaps with God). Its counterpart for the third gate is called peşinelik; for the fourth gate (hakikat, Ultimate Truth), cingildaşlik or cegildaşlik (translations uncertain). 
Many folk practices may be identified, though few of them are specific to the Alevis. In this connection, scholar Martin van Bruinessen notes a sign from Turkey's Ministry of Religion, attached to Istanbul's shrine of Eyüp Sultan, which presents
. . . a long list of ‘superstitious’ practices that are emphatically declared to be non-Islamic and objectionable, such as lighting candles or placing ‘wishing stones’ on the tomb, tying pieces of cloth to the shrine or to the trees in front of it, throwing money on the tomb, asking the dead directly for help, circling seven times around the trees in the courtyard or pressing one’s face against the walls of the türbe in the hope of a supernatural cure, tying beads to the shrine and expecting supernatural support from them, sacrificing roosters or turkeys as a vow to the shrine. The list is probably an inventory of common local practices the authorities wish to prevent from re-emerging. 
Other, similar practices include kissing door frames of holy rooms; not stepping on the threshold of holy buildings; seeking prayers from reputed healers; making 'Lokma' and sharing it with others.
Newroz (Farsi: Nowroz, literally "New Day") is the ancient Iranian New Year, observed and practiced by Iranians and many ethnic groups(Ulghurs, Kurds, Uzbeks. Nowrūz ( /noruz/ ↔, (English New Day various local pronunciations and spellings) is the traditional Iranian New year Holiday celebrated . . )on 21 March (the Spring equinox) as a celebration of newness and reconciliation. An equinox is the event of the Sun passing over the Earth's equator in its annual cycle Apart from the original beliefs of the Zorastrian founders of Nowruz, Alevi also celebrate and commemorate the birth of Ali; the wedding of Ali and Fatima; the rescue of the prophet Joseph from the well; and / or the creation of the world on this day. This is a sub-article to Joseph (Hebrew Bible. For the singer see Yusuf Islam. Various cems and special programs are held.
Hidrellez honors the mysterious figure Khidr (Turkish Hizir) who is sometimes identified with the prophet Elijah (Ilyas), and is said to have drunk of the water of life. Al-Khidr (الخضر "the Green One" also transcribed Khidr Khidar Khizr Khizar; or most accurately Ĥiḍr) has a disputed status amongst scholars Elijah or Elias ( was a Prophet in Israel in the 9th century BC Elijah or Elias ( was a Prophet in Israel in the 9th century BC Some hold that Khidr comes to the rescue of those in distress on land, while Elijah helps those at sea; and that they meet at a rose tree in the evening of every 6th of May. The festival is also celebrated in parts of the Balkans by the name of "Erdelez," where it falls on the same day as Djurdjevdan or St. George's Day. Đurđevdan ( Serbian: Ђурђевдан - George's day ˈd͡ʑuːrd͡ʑeʋdaːn is a Serbian Religious holiday, celebrated on April 23 St George's Day is celebrated by several nations kingdoms countries and cities of which Saint George is the Patron saint, including England, the
Khidr is also honored with a three-day fast in mid-February called Hızır Orucu. In addition to avoiding any sort of comfort or enjoyment, Alevis also abstain from food and water for the entire day, though they do drink liquids other than water during the evening.
Note that the dates of the Khidr holidays can differ among Alevis, most of whom use a lunar calendar, but some a solar calendar.
The Muslim month of Muharram (or Mâtem Orucu) begins 20 days after Eid ul-Adha (Kurban Bayramı). Muharram ( Arabic: ar محرم is the first month of the Islamic calendar. Eid al-Adha ( Arabic: عيد الأضحى ‘Īd ul-’Aḍḥā, Urdu: بقرعید or the Festival of Sacrifice is a religious festival celebrated Alevis observe a fast for the first twelve days. This culminates in the festival of Ashura (Aşure), which commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussain at Karbala. The Day of Ashura ( ar عاشوراء, Ashura Ashoura and other spellings is on the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar and marks the climax Ḥusayn ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib ( ar حسين بن علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب) (third of Shaban 4 AH / 8th January 626 AD at Medina Karbala ( BGN: Al-Karbalā’; also spelled Karbala al-Muqaddasah) is a city in Iraq, located about southwest of Baghdad at The fast is broken with a special dish (also called aşure) prepared from a variety (often twelve in number) of fruits, nuts, and grains. Many events are associated with this celebration, including the salvation of Hussain's son Zaynul Abideen from the massacre at Karbala, thus allowing the bloodline of the family of the prophet to continue. ‘Alī ibn Ḥusayn (Arabic علي بن حسين) (approximately 6 January 659 - 20 October 712 is a great-grandson of Muhammad as well as the fourth
Alevis are not expected to give Zakat in the Islamic mode, and there is no set formula or prescribed amount for charity. This is a sub-article of Islamic economical jurisprudence. Zakaat ( زكاة zækæːh zakaat or zakāh, has the implied A common method of Alevi almsgiving is through donating food (especially sacrificial animals) to be shared with worshippers and guests. Alevis also donate money to be used to help the poor, to support the religious, educational and cultural activities of Alevi centers and organizations (dergâh, vakıf, dernek), and to provide scholarships for students.
While Alevism does not recognize an obligation to go on pilgrimage, visiting ziyarat and performing dua at the tombs of Alevi-Bektashi saints or Pirs is quite common. Ziyarat is a pilgrimage to sites associated with the Islamic prophet Muhammad, his companions, or other venerated figures in Islamic history Du'a ( دُعَاء) is a Supplication in Islam, an Arabic term which means to 'call out' or to 'summon' Some of the most frequently visited sites are the shrines of Shahkulu and Karacaahmet (both in Istanbul), Abdal Musa (Antalya), Seyit Gazi (Eskishehir), the annual celebrations held at Hacibektas (16 August) and Sivas (the Pir Sultan Abdal Kültür Etkinlikleri, 23-24 June). Hacıbektaş, formerly Karahüyük, is a town and district of Nevşehir Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey. Sivas (the late-Classical and Medieval Sebastia, sometimes spelt Sebastea or Sebasteia, Greek: Σεβάστεια, Armenian
In contrast with the traditional secrecy of the cem ritual, the events at these cultural centers and sites are open to the public. In the case of the Hacibektaş celebration, since 1990 the activities there have been taken over by Turkey's Ministry of Culture in the interest of promoting tourism and Turkish patriotism rather than Alevi spirituality.
Some Alevis make pilgrimages to mountains and other natural sites believed to be imbued with holiness.
In contrast to the Bektashi tariqa, which like other Sufi orders is based on a silsila "initiatory chain or lineage" of teachers and their students, Alevi leaders succeed to their role on the basis of family descent. "Silsila" redirects here For the Hindi film, see Silsila (film. Perhaps ten percent of Alevis belong to a religious elite called ocak "hearth", indicating descent from ˤAlī and/or various other saints and heroes. Ocak members are called ocakzades or "sons of the hearth". This system apparently originated with Safavid Persia. The Safavids ( صفوی) were an Iranian ref>Helen Chapin Metz The Persian Empire was a series of Iranian empires that ruled over the Iranian plateau, the original Persian homeland and beyond in Western Asia
Alevi leaders are variously called murshid, pir, rehber or dede. Pir ( Persian: (پیر literally "old " is a title for a Sufi master Groups that conceive of these as ranks of a hierarchy (as in the Bektashi tariqa) disagree as to the order. The last of these, dede "grandfather", is the term preferred by the scholarly literature. Ocakzades may attain to the position of dede on the basis of selection (by a father from among several sons), character, and learning. In contrast to Alevi rhetoric on the equality of the sexes, it is generally assumed that only males may fill such leadership roles.
Traditionally dedes did not merely lead rituals, but led their communities, often in conjunction with local notables such as the ağas (large landowners) of the Dersim Region. Tunceli ( Zazaki: Dêrsım, is a province in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. They also acted as judges or arbiters, presiding over village courts called Düşkünlük Meydanı.
Ordinary Alevi would owe allegiance to a particular dede lineage (but not others) on the basis of pre-existing family or village relations. Some fall instead under the authority of Bektashi dargah (lodges). A dargah ( درگه) is a Sufi Shrine built over the grave of a revered religious figure often a Sufi Saint.
In the wake of 20th century urbanization (which removed young laborers from the villages) and socialist influence (which looked upon the dedes with suspicion), the old hierarchy has largely broken down. Many dedes now receive salaries from Alevi cultural centers, which arguably subordinates their role.  Such centers no longer feature community business or deliberation, such as the old ritual of reconciliation, but emphasize musical and dance performance to the exclusion of these.  Dedes are now approached on a voluntary basis, and their role has become more circumscribed—limited to religious rituals, research, and giving advice.
According to Australian anthropologist Dr. Sevgi Kilic, while Alevi women do not experience gender segregation in the private and public domain they are subject to traditional male values about women's sexuality and constructed within the honour/shame paradigm. Dr. Sevgi Kilic is of Alevi heritage and her family migrated to Australia some 40 years ago. Growing up in a western society she was unaware of the rich culture and traditions and the unique identity of the Alevi, and she poignantly reveals how she "learnt to be an Alevi" through the narratives of the women in her study. This ethnography is the first on Alevi women in Turkey and argues that Alevi identity is complex, diverse and rich in its theory and practice.
Hence, while rural Alevi women ascribe to traditional conservative views about women's status in the family these ideas are rapidly changing within an urban environment, where many are compelled to work as domestic servants and in other low paid jobs. Unlike Sunni women in Turkey, Alevi women are not required to wear a headscarf or other bodily coverings. According to Kilic this is because Alevi identity is very much focused on the internal rather than the external representation and covering women's hair or concealing the female body in and of itself cannot legitimize women's moral, social, political and economic worth. Thus an unveiled Alevi woman cannot impugn her honour or her communities. Thus Alevi women's bodies are what Kilic calls paradoxically 'neutral' and acts as an "ideology of difference. "
The relationship between Alevis and Sunnis is one of mutual suspicion and prejudice dating back to the Ottoman period. Sunnis have accused Alevis of heresy, heterodoxy, rebellion, betrayal and immorality. Alevis, on the other hand, have argued that the original Quran does not demand five prayers, nor mosque attendance, nor pilgrimage, and that the Sunnis distorted early Islam by omitting, misinterpreting, or changing important passages of the original Quran, especially those dealing with Ali and ritual practice. 
Alevis see Sunni narrowmindedness as originating in Arabia and as contrary to the Turkish national character. Sunna and Hadith were Arab elite innovations, created to ensure Arab dominance of Islam and to enslave the masses through manipulation. All evil developments in Islam are seen as the fault of Arab society and character. Sunnism, according to the Alevis, is not true Islam but an aberration that by its strict legalism opposes free and independent thought and is seen as reactionary, bigoted, fanatic, and antidemocratic. Alevis believe Sunni nationalism is intolerant, domineering, and unwilling to recognize Alevi uniqueness. 
The ideals of equality, justice, and respect for all are prominent in Alevi society and give Alevi women a more respected status than that of Sunni women. Alevi women do not need to be veiled and are not as segregated, nor must they fear polygamy or one-sided divorce as Alevis practice monogamy and divorce is forbidden. Women also partake equally in the religious life of the community. 
In today's political arena Alevis see themselves as a counterforce to Sunni fundamentalism, ensuring the continued secularism of Turkey. Alevis, who have a great interest in blocking the rising fundamentalist influence, are the main allies of the secularist forces, and are also searching for alliances with moderate Sunnis against the extremists. They are demanding that the state recognize Alevism as an official Islamic community equal to, but different from, Sunnism.
There is some tension between folk tradition Alevism and the Bektashi Order, which is a Sufi order founded on Alevi beliefs. Bektashism (Bektaşilik is an Islamic Sufi order ( Tariqat) considered to be a distinct branch of Shi'a Islam  In certain Turkish communities other Sufi orders ( the Halveti-Jerrahi and some of the Rifa'i) have incorporated significant Alevi influence. The Khalwati Sufi order (or Halveti, as it is known in Turkey) is an Islamic Sufi brotherhood ( Tariqa) The Jerrahi ( Turkish: Cerrahiyye, Cerrahilik) are a Sufi order ( Tarika) derived from the Halveti (Khalwati order The Rifa'i (also Rufa'i) are a Sufi order most commonly found in the Arab Middle East but also in Turkey and the Balkans. Though generally regarded as a Sunni group historically, some Rifa'is accept the Alevi identity. This is particularly common among Turkish teacher Sherif Baba's Rifa'i Marufi Order, whose worship combines elements of typical Alevi traditions with Sunni practices. They have sometimes identified with the Alevi, with whom they share secularist principles, a general scepticism of extreme orthodoxy, an emphasis on men and women worshipping together, a common group of revered saints such as Hajji Bektash Veli and Pir Sultan Abdal and a deep devotion to the family of the Prophet Muhammad.
Like many of the so-called "ghulat" groups, Alevis praise Ali beyond what mainstream Shi‘ites would allow. Ghulat (غلاة Exaggerators is the adjectival form of Ghuluww (غلو Exaggeration, a technical term mainstream Muslims He and Muhammad are likened to the two sides of a coin, or the two halves of an apple. Some even speak of a trinity of Allah, Muhammad, and Ali. According to Shi'a belief, whoever says the Shahadah is considered a Muslim. The Shahada ( Arabic: ar الشهادة, from the verb ar شهد "to testify" is the Islamic Creed. Accordingly, Ayatollah Khomeini put an end to excluding Alevis from the ranks of Muslims. Seyyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini ( Persian:, pronounced muːsæviː-je xomejniː}}( September 24, 1902 – June 3 1989 He pronounced that they are technically considered Muslims even if they have differing beliefs to the Usoolis. Usulis ( are the majority Twelver Shi'a Muslim group They differ from their now much smaller rival Akhbari group in favoring the use of 
Alevi religious services, referred to collectively as cem or âyîn, include spiritual exercises that incorporate elements of zikr ("remembrance" or recitation of God's names, in this case without controlled breathing, but with some elements of body posturing) and sema (ritual dance). Dhikr ذکر Plural اذكار Adhkaar ( Zikir in Turkish and Malay, Zikr in Urdu, Jikir in Bengali and Zekr Specialty Equipment Market Association ( SEMA) of the Automobile aftermarket was formed in 1963 by Roy Richter, Ed Iskenderian Willie Garner Bob Hedman The latter is accompanied by sung mystical poetry in the vernacular, and by the sacred ritual instrument known as baglama or saz (a plucked folk lute with frets). The saz (from Persian:) is a family of Plucked string instruments popular in Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the
Such music is performed by specialists known as zâkir, aik, sazende or güvende, depending on regional usage. They are recruited from Alevi communities and descended from dede lineages. Many are also known to be poet/minstrels (aik, ozan) who perpetuate the tradition of dervish-lodge (tekke) poets such as Yunus Emre (13th century), Nesîmî (14th century), Pir Sultan Abdal, Hata'î and Genç Abdal (16th century) and Kul Himmet and Kul Hüseyn (17th century). The poetry was composed in the Turkish vernacular and follows the principles of folk prosody known as hece vezne in which the focus is the number of syllables.
The specialized sacred musical repertoire of Alevi musicians includes
The dances are performed with dignity by couples, and choreographies employ circle and line formations as well as arrangements where couples face one another, thus synchronizing their movements more closely. As the tempo of the music increases, the figures become more complex and intense. There are many regional variants of sema, but the most widespread and important are the Dance of the Forty (Kırklar Semah) and the Dance of the Cranes (Turnalar Semah).
The âyîn-i-cem can be heard on the JVC CD Turkey. An Esoteric Sufi Ceremony. Unfortunately for non-specialists, the notes are very vague and give no indication of location, performers, musical genres or poetic forms. The recording was made in Istanbul in 1993, and the ceremony includes in an order typical of a cem: a deyi that reiterates the line of descent of the sect in a historical framework, two düvaz (one based on the poetry of Hatayi, and the other on the poetry of Kul Himmet), prayer formulas, the illâllâh genre that incorporates the tahlîl formula into the poem to create an atmosphere of zikr while sect members create rhythmic intensity by hitting their knees in time to the music and sway their bodies slightly, the Dance of the Forty (Kırklar Semah), the Dance of the Cranes (Turnalar Semah) and prayer formulas.
Alevis have a significant role in Turkish music and poetry. Pir Sultan Abdal, a 16th century Alevi poet whose poems and songs often contain spiritual themes, is revered as a saint and hero. Pir Sultan Abdal (ca 1480 - 1550 a legendary Turkish Alevi (Sufi poet whose direct and clear language as well as the richness of his imagination and the beauty of his verses led him Important figures are the Sufi poet Yunus Emre, widely regarded as having been Alevi, and Kaygusuz Abdal. Yunus Emre (1238?–1320? was a Turkish poet and Sufi mystic. Their poems shape Turkish culture up to now, and are also performed by modern artists. Songs attributed to these poets have been embraced by left-wingers in the 20th century. The aşık bards are also influenced by Alevi tradition. For the Albanian use of the term to describe a pederastic lover see Albanian pederasty An Ashik ( aşık, aşıq, عاشیق
Many of the major traditional musicians in Turkey are Alevi, including Arif Sağ, Musa Eroğlu, Erdal Erzincan, Neşet Ertaş, Muharrem Ertaş, Aşık Mahzuni Şerif, Aşık Feyzullah Çınar, Aşık Veysel Şatıroğlu, Ali Ekber Çiçek, Sabahat Akkiraz, Belkıs Akkale, and Ulaş Özdemir. Arif Sağ (born 1945 in Aşkale, Erzurum, Turkey is a Singer, Bağlama virtuoso and leading figure in modern Turkish Neşet Ertaş (born 1937 is a Turkish Folk music singer Lyrics writer and a virtuoso of the traditional Turkish instrument Bağlama. Aşık Mahzuni Şerif ( 17 November 1940 — 17 May 2002) also known as Mahsuni Şerif, was a Turkish folk musician Ashik Aşık Veysel Şatıroğlu ( October 25, 1894 – March 21, 1973) also known as just Aşık Veysel Ali Ekber Çiçek was born 1935 in Erzincan, Turkey. His father was killed in a major earthquake and his mother couldn't afford to support his education after elementary Other non-Alevis, such as Ruhi Su and Zülfü Livaneli, have recorded many Alevi songs. Mehmet Ruhi Su (born 1912 - died September 20, 1985) was a Turkish folk singer and Saz virtuoso Ömer Zülfü Livaneli (b 1946 Ilgın, Turkey) is a popular Turkish folk musician (singer and composer a novelist newspaper Columnist Mercan Dede, an artist whose music combines electronic and traditional Sufi elements, has made some songs involving Alevi themes in cooperation with singer Sabahat Akkiraz. Arkın Ilıcalı (born 1966 in Bursa, Turkey) better known as Mercan Dede, also known as DJ Arkın Allen, is a Turkish composer 
Below are a series of videos from Turkish television showing a cem service:
I. General introductions
II. Kurdish Alevis
III. Alevi / Bektashi history
IV. Ghulat sects in general
V. Alevi Identity
VI. Alevism in Europe
VIII. Turkish-language works