The Görgü Cem and Düşkünlük (Excommunication) System in the Gozukizil Ocak’s Pursuance in the Region of Damal/Ardahan

  • Cansu Akyol Ankara
Keywords: Gözükızıl ocak, görgü cem, düşkünlük system, Alevism, Damal


Belief-centered Alevism that is facing risk of disappearing as a result of social changes, started to leave its place to identity-centered Alevism with urbanization. Integration process, occurred as a consequence of migrations caused by urbanization, have an effect on this, too. It appears that today belief called traditional Alevism is kept alive mostly in villages by preserving its essence. In Alevism, there is a system that aims preserving peace and order in community. The first aspect is musahip (brotherhood). It means brotherhood in this world and in eternity, to die before death, to stand straight like letter Alif (I), to be pure like water. Musahiplik is love for all living beings, for nature. It means to be on the Alevi path with love by knowing and understanding it. There is a cem during which persons, who walk in this path practicing musahiplik, are queried and cleared once a year under the leadership of dede. This cem is the görgü cem and persons, who are müsahip, are doing heart-searching in the presence of God and community for one year. As for second aspect, it is düşkünlük (excommunication). Düşkünlük means to exclude an Alevi person from community on pir’s instruction because of the crime he is done regardless his ikrar (commitment); this person is called düşkün. In the region of Damal, the düşkünlük system is divided in two sanctions: sakayır and kabayır. Sakayır is mistake made by accident; kabayır are serious crimes. To sakayır is applied a momentary excommunication and he is penalized. After completing his penalty, he can enter the cem but kabayır can never enter the cem and cemevi. This paper analyzes the musahiplik and düşkünlük system of the Gözükızıl ocak’s members in the region of Damal.


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How to Cite
Akyol, C. 2017. The Görgü Cem and Düşkünlük (Excommunication) System in the Gozukizil Ocak’s Pursuance in the Region of Damal/Ardahan. Journal of Alevism-Bektashism Studies. 16 (Dec. 2017), 201-222. DOI: