Some photos from the last Pir Sultan Abdal Şenlikleri (Festival) that I attended in June 2007. The location is the village of Banaz, north of Sivas.
When I last visited Banaz in 2007 there was a new memorial erected to the 2nd July 1993 Sivas victims. The memorial includes a sculpture of doves – one for each of the victims – and a stele with the names of the 33 ‘Alevi souls’ killed. The number of victims of the Sivas massacre is often confused and variously given as 37, 35 or 33. As in the Banaz memorial the 33 people associated with the Pir Sultan Abdal festival are commonly honoured and named by Alevis. The memorial also notes the death of two employees (though not named) of the Otel Madımak. Two others, making up the 37, were killed outside the hotel from among the rioters.
Any search for Pir Sultan necessarily leads to the village of Banaz and the view from the hill above the village towards “Star Mountain”. Literally breathtaking in the cooling breeze from the Sivas highlands on a mid-Summer day. The picture on the header was taken at the Pir Sultan Abdal festival in June 2002.
The full picture includes the ‘meydan’ in the foreground. Not sure if the Banazlı actually conduct cem-s here as there is a cemevi on the other side of the hill at Topuzlu Baba. Was privilaged to attend a cem (late into the night) lead by Dertli Divani during my second visit to the PSA festival in Banaz in 2007.