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Koptaş, Rober

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Agos - Turkey | 24/05/2013

Syria conflict threatens coexistence in Turkey

The civil war in Syria is fuelling religious tensions in the Turkish-Syrian border region of Hatay. After already being hard hit by the attack in Reyhanlı, the province is now seeing an escalation particularly in the conflicts between Alevis and Sunnis. Agos, the weekly paper of the Armenian minority, warns about mutual recriminations: "Unfortunately the Alevi-Sunni conflict in Turkey has both historical and current roots. To prevent these roots from proliferating, all sections of society must show a sense of responsibility. … The main responsibility lies with the Sunni majority. However the Alevis must understand that social change can only be possible if everyone, above all the majority, changes. This path leads not to setting up a certain group as the enemy, as the [Turkish Alevi MP] Aygün has done, but to find an all-encompassing language."

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