Police in Sivas province are taking strict security precautions for a large ceremony in memorial of the 20th anniversary of the Madımak massacre, in which 37 people, mostly Alevis, were killed after an angry mob set a hotel building hosting an Alevi cultural conference on fire on July 2, 1993.
A total of 33 artists and intellectuals along with two hotel workers and two assailants died inside Sivas' Madımak Hotel. The mob was protesting the arrival of atheist writer Aziz Nesin.
Thousands of Turks and foreigners are expected to attend the ceremony, which is being held near the former site of the Madımak Hotel, and the police are taking precautions to prevent problems, including manning ID checkpoints at the city's entrances and exits. A total of 2,500 police officers are working to ensure participants' security. Various streets have been closed to traffic and the police will watch the event using Mobile Electronic Systems Integration (MOBESE) cameras installed in various parts of the city.
A delegation from the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) will participate, including CHP Deputy Chairman Nihat Matkap, CHP Sivas deputy Ejder Özdemir and CHP Malatya deputy Veli Ağbaba.
Turkish EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bağış, speaking to reporters on Monday, delivered a message of common sense. He said that not only Alevis were killed in the massacre, but also Kurds, Turks and Sunnis. Various steps, he continued, had been taken by the government in the recent years: “There may be some groups who want to manipulate the Alevi people on the anniversary of the Madımak incidents. They want to push Turkey into a chaos by manipulating the innocent feelings of Alevis. I ask them not to listen those provocative people and I call on them to behave sensibly.”
Another memorial ceremony will be held by Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK) members on Tuesday in central province of Eskişehir.
CihanGüncelleme Tarihi: 02 Temmuz 2013, 11:34