Erdogan faces uphill bid to woo Turkey’s large Alevi minority

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Ali Erdem leads his Alevi community each week in a ceremony filled with symbolic ritual, music and dance, performing in a place of worship that has been thrust into political debate ahead of Turkish elections due by 2023. As a musician plays the lute-like saz and worshippers in red sashes dance in a circle to experience union with God, Erdem recites prayers and tales of persecution that Alevis, Turkey’s largest religious minority, have faced in Turkish history. With pre-election polls showing dwindling support for his long-ruling AK Party (AKP), President Tayyip Erdogan recently sent represent…

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