Hundreds of people gathered in front of Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Association (PSAKD), an association founded in 1988 to promote cultural and political rights of the Alevis in Turkey.
Cloves were left in front of the building to the memory of the 33 people burnt alive at the Sivas Massacre in 1993. During the commemorative speech, it was underlined that the darkness of Sivas Massacre still continues under the rule of the AKP government in Turkey. The people chanted the slogans “Socialist Turkey against sharia” and “The light of Sivas will never fade away” during the rally. An event was held at the park built to commemorate the people killed at the Sivas Massacre, and some speeches were made and folk songs were chanted to the memory of those people.
On July 2, 1993, a cultural event was about to be held in Sivas, a district of Turkey in central Anatolia with mass Alevi population, together with the participation of several left-wing authors, poets and bards. The event was organised by Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Association (PSAKD). Several organised reactionary people had gathered in Sivas before the event, distributing leaflets targeting Aziz Nesin, a famous left-wing short story writer and one of the participants of the event, for translating Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses into Turkish.
The reactionary mob, around 5 thousand people in total, gathered and set fire Madımak Hotel where the participants of the event were staying, chanting slogans like “We want sharia” and “Sivas will be the grave of Aziz Nesin”. As people were being burnt alive, the security forces did nothing to fend off the attackers. Although Aziz Nesin was rescued from the burning hotel, 33 people were burnt alive on that day.
The Madımak case was abated for timeout and the counsellors of the attackers are now deputies of the ruling AKP government.