The assembly houses at which Turkey's Alevi communities pray, known as cemevis, have been approved as official places of worship in Turkey for the first time with a key decision taken by a regional municipality.
The Kusadasi Municipality in Turkey’s Agean region approved an application from the Kusadasi Cemevi for reduced water rates, as applied to other official places of worship, Dogan News Agency reported on Wednesday.
Turkey’s Alevi community has long demanded official recognition of cemevis in Turkey.
Turkey grants mosques, churches, and synagogues with legal status.
Alevis are the second largest religious community in Turkey, believed to be around 20 million strong although no official statistics are available. The Alevis' interpretation of Islam differs from Sunnis, such as they pray in cemevis, not in mosques.