The Alevi-Bektasi Legacy: Problems of Acquisition and Explanation

University dissertation from Almqvist & Wiksell International, P.O. Box 4627, S-116 91 Stockholm, SWEDEN

Abstract: Mystics and amateur politicians in the margin of Turkish society. The specific case of marginalisation in the specific context of my choice provides a wealth of details to be accounted for. All details taken together are real life itself and can thus not be accounted for in a book. Enough can be said, however, about marginalisation in general in order for a meaningful discussion to take place. But generalisations make the problem of choosing and interpreting information poignant. I have dealt at length with this problem. Also when one talks about real life, instead of living it, the problem of talking in a meaningful manner comes to the fore. One might wonder what it is that makes statements meaningful and if meaning is static. And is it more meaningful to talk from a marginal position than from the center? Do the Alevis gain from their marginal position when they speak their (collective) mind? Why do the Bektasis feel they gain from their marginal position even if they keep silent? These questions, and others, are not answered in this thesis, but I have provided som arguments for a set of ideas concerning these questions and also concerning how to deal with these questions.

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