ANKARA - TDN Parliament Bureau
A senior official from the U.S Embassy in Ankara met this week with ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, Alevi-origin deputy Reha Çamuoğlu. Çamuoğlu was appointed as an advisor to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for an initiative for Alevis but resigned last month.
American diplomat Daniel O'Grady inquired into whether the government had considered bettering the conditions of the Alevi community, in his rendezvous with Çamuroğlu earlier in the week. He also expressed full support for the continuation of a well-grounded initiative for the Alevis, the Turkish Daily News has learned.
Although his resignation was seen as a failure of the government's Alevi initiative, Çamuroğlu refrained from strong criticism of the government during his meeting with the American diplomat. Sources said that during the meeting Çamuroğlu pointed to the fact that Erdoğan had not made any statement regarding Alevis, suggesting that works to help them would be forgotten.
“I hope that the initiative will continue. I hope cemevis will be granted official status and initiatives on Alevism for religious classes will be made. I continue to study the subject,” he said.
Çamuroğlu resigned from his advisory post but has remained as a deputy of the AKP despite reaction from Alevi communities.