Nusairis/Arab Alawites Between Change and Taqiyya


Nusairis/Arab Alawites has existed in our country’s Mediterranean coast for many years with their distinctive social and cultural structure, religious beliefs, and ethnical differences. In recent times, the approach towards this group is more described with their upper identity as Shia. However, in their ancient tradition while they were named as Nusairis, lately due to conjuncture, ideological and theo-strategical reasons, they are called and grouped with different names. This could be a result of today’s global change wind and taqiyya which is a strong and very effective doctrine in Nusairi belief. While this study covers the appearance of Nusairis in Turkey, its method consists of handling theological, historical and anthropological studies towards this topic in a qualitative way. The purpose of the study is to classify the identity representation of Nusairis with consideration of interaction between taqiyya and global change. According to this classification, Nusairis in Turkey can be listed as following groups; a) Republican with laicism identity b) Hittite Turks c) from being an outsider in the community to becoming Jaafari Nusairi d) Nusairis that are resistant to tradition e) Turkish – Shia relationship/ unrelationship f) lost Christians. As a result, defining Nusairis with Shiia upper identity brings many problems within, also there are many other fractions continue their traditional and theo-strategical existence within community which has different aspects of religious, history, sociology and culture.


Turkish Shias taqiyya Jaffarism Syria.