press release – 27th of June 2018: „Freedom of religion is a fundamental right“

S&D members launch the Alevi Friendship Group of the European Parliament 

At the initiative of the S&D Group, yesterday the European Parliament held the founding meeting of the „Alevi Friendship Group“: a platform to promote cooperation between the members of the European Parliament and the Alevi, and to give this 1.5 million community more voice and visibility at the European level.

S&D vice-president Josef Weidenholzer and S&D MEP Arne Lietz, the initiators of the Alevi Friendship Group, said: “The Alevi Community stands for a peaceful, free and democratic Europe where all peoples are treated as equals. Under the banner of the rule of law, 1.5 million Alevi all over Europe come together as a vital part of our society. Today we celebrate their deep belief in European core values by founding the Alevi Friendship Group of the European Parliament.”


Note to editors: The Alevi Community has experienced aggression from multiple actors in the past. In their country of origin – Turkey – they are actively oppressed and not accepted as an official community of faith. The multi-million strong community denounces authoritarian tendencies and embraces European democratic values such as freedom of speech and social equality for all.

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