Middle East : Topics & Arguments (2018-06-01)

Infrastructures of Urban Religious Management: Who Should Pay for the Utilities of Cemevis in Turkey?

  • Nazlı Özkan

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10


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In Turkey, electricity and water expenses for houses of prayer, such as mosques and churches, are covered by the state. Cemevis, places of worship for Turkey’s marginalized religious minority of Alevis, however, cannot benefit from from this regulation. By analyzing the political negotiations between the Turkish state and Alevis about cemevis’ utility bills, this paper argues that unequal distribution of infrastructural funds becomes a means for governing religion in urban contexts. In so doing, I focus on a less studied dimension of infrastructures by examining how infrastructural governance is an arena both to reproduce and to contest hegemonic state religiosity.