An Ankara court turned down Tuesday a petition to close an Alevi association that was accused of attempting to build a cemevi as a “house of worship.”
Prosecutors wanted to shut down the Çankaya Cemevi Building Association, arguing that a cemevi, where Alevis gather to pray, cannot be legally deemed a house of worship and that an association cannot have such a goal.
Judge Yaşar Eren said the demand was evaluated and rejected.
Fevzi Gümüş, the lawyer for the Çankaya Cemevi Building Association, told reporters that the prosecutors would appeal the decision.
“The court is right on its decision, but the final decision on whether the cemevis are places of worship will be made by the Supreme Court of Appeals,” he said.
Gümüş said all Alevis consider cemevis their houses of worship and added that everyone in the community was fighting for legal recognition of the situation.