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Thread: Alevi ethnicity?

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    Alevi ethnicity?

    Is there such a thing as an Alevi ethnicity? Can an Alevi be distinguished from another Turk based upon admixture proportions alone? (Relative matching doesn't count!)

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     Mrtni (06-11-2021)

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    There is no scientific study performed to address this issue as far a I know. Based on the results in Turkish Ancestry groups, Alevis and Sunnis from the same region have pretty much the same Admixture proportions.

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     Erik (03-10-2021)

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    there are not only alevi turks but also alevi kurds . i am of alevi kurdish descent for example

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    Alevism is a sect, not an ethnic group. There are Turkish, Kurdish and Zaza Alevis in Turkey and they fall within the genetic clusters of their respective ethnicities. There are noteworthy differences between Turkish Alevism and Kurdish/Zaza Alevism, so the difference is not only limited to genetics.

    Arab Alawites (aka Nusayris) are even more different. Their belief is classified under another branch and they are genetically most similar to Lebanese people.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alkaevli View Post
    Alevism is a sect, not an ethnic group. There are Turkish, Kurdish and Zaza Alevis in Turkey and they fall within the genetic clusters of their respective ethnicities. There are noteworthy differences between Turkish Alevism and Kurdish/Zaza Alevism, so the difference is not only limited to genetics.
    Where do the Turkish Alevis live or come from?

    Every auDNA result I've sen of Alevis from Dersim/Tunceli, Erzincan, Sivas, Erzurum, Kayseri, Adana, Mersin, Hatay(not Arab), Urfa, Malatya & Kahramanmaraş have basically been ordinary Kurdish results.
    The mother tongue in all groups seem to have been Kurmanji or Zaza prior to 1930s.
    It seems the "Turkish" or "Azerbaijani" Alevis of Erzincan, Erzurum, Sivas & Tunceli are just Kurmanji/Zaza speakers.

    I guess that leaves the Çorum and Tokat Alevis? I've come across Alevis from these areas that identified as Kurdish. I believe these had roots in the south east.
    But I think I've seen an Alevi result from these areas that was vastly different from the Kurdish results.
    Last edited by Kulin; 06-10-2021 at 09:15 PM. Reason: Edited for Political Overtones

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    Quote Originally Posted by MLSK View Post
    ...

    Please refrain from political overtones and adhere to the ToS.

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     Táltos (07-03-2021)

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    Apologies, however I think those observations I've made are very relevant to the subject.
    I'm not Turkish, Alevi, Kurmanji or Zaza speaker. It's not about making political points. I think Alevi identity has become very political and that politics is playing a crucial role in so many Alevi results being identical with Sunni Kurmanji/Zaza results.
    I get the impression that the ethnic Turkish Alevis don't identify as strongly with Alevism - they've blended and disappeared among the secularist Turkish Kemalist mass or became Shia Twelvers/Azerbaijanis.
    But like I said, I'm not from Turkey, I don't have full insight into this subject. I would like ethnic Turkish Alevis to confirm or refute what I said.

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     JoeyP37 (06-10-2021)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MLSK View Post
    Apologies, however I think those observations I've made are very relevant to the subject.
    I'm not Turkish, Alevi, Kurmanji or Zaza speaker. It's not about making political points. I think Alevi identity has become very political and that politics is playing a crucial role in so many Alevi results being identical with Sunni Kurmanji/Zaza results.
    I get the impression that the ethnic Turkish Alevis don't identify as strongly with Alevism - they've blended and disappeared among the secularist Turkish Kemalist mass or became Shia Twelvers/Azerbaijanis.
    But like I said, I'm not from Turkey, I don't have full insight into this subject. I would like ethnic Turkish Alevis to confirm or refute what I said.
    From a neutral point of view as well, Alevism seems to be deeply entrenched in Turkish culture (from theological/religious terms to folk tales to festivals to music etc) to be culturally foreign. If I remember correctly, I have seen some Alevi Anatolian Turkish as well as Alevi Balkan Turkish results, and they do score like what one expects them to be. I won't surprised if some communities of Alevi Kurds/Zazas have switched to Turkish identity recently (or vice versa), but it is unlikely for vast majority of Turkish speaking Alevis to be non-Turkish genetically.

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    It's common among religious sects often minorities to practice endogamy that is sect specific. However, from the discussion above it seems that population gene pool is primarily based on ethnic and linguistic identity rather than religious or sectarian. Its similar to the case in Pakistan where ethic identity e.g. Iranic (Pashtun, Baloch) is a far better predictor of genetic profile than religion.
    Cross ethnic exogamy does occur on sectarian basis: Shia Baloch marrying into Punjabi families, but it's rare to effect population.
    Not sure how true it is in Turkey? Do Alevis practice sect specific endogamy or marriages outside the sect are common?

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    No, they are indistinguishable from each other. An Alevi from the Aegean resembles other Aegean Turks and someone from Dersim is similar to the people of his area. There are so many people in Turkey who "practice" this part of Islam so the Chance to practice endogamy goes to zero.

    The Nusayris are a different story. I have a very close Nusayri friend from Turkey and they predominantly marry each other. They mostly speak in Arabic with each other and are staying in their circle. A Very interesting group in Turkey.
    Last edited by Mrtni; 06-11-2021 at 03:37 AM.

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