Ongoing projects


  • ATS: Gelebte Religion in alevitischen Gemeinden in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz [Living religion and religious education in Alevi communities in the DACH region]

    The project explores the question of which religious content and which religious knowledge is passed on with the help of which oral, written and performative sources in Alevi communities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

    Following the principle of mixed methods, a) participant observation, b) guided interviews, c) video recordings, d) online questionnaires with young people and so-called e) "action days" in Alevi Cem houses will be carried out. In this context, a survey will be conducted at selected locations to collect written and audiovisual sources in the form of audio, video and image recordings, as well as artifacts from family traditions, in order to ideally make them available for basic research and the training of religious education teachers.

    The project is led by Prof. Dr. Handan Aksünger-Kizil and is currently financed from the professorship's appointment funds. Further information on the project can be found in the linked PDF file (in German).

    Project duration: 2023-2028

  • ATS: Alevitischer Religionsunterricht und Digitalisierung in Europa: Grenzen, Chancen und Erwartungen [Alevi Religious Education and Digitalisation in Europe: Limitations, Opportunities and Expectations]

    The world's first Alevi religious education (Alevitische Religionsunterricht, ARU) was taught in Berlin in 2002/03. The idea and the associated further training of Alevi religious education teachers were developed through the initiative of the Alevi Cem houses on the district and national level.

    Within the framework of this project, an initial inventory of Alevi religious education (ARU) in German-speaking countries is to be drawn up and, in a second step, a working platform (Cloud/SharePoint) is to be provided. The aim is to exchange different methods, possibilities and developments in learning and teaching religious knowledge through theological, pedagogical, social, sociological and anthropological approaches in a digital environment. The transparency of the ARU on this digital platform can promote socio-political expectations regarding the integration and identity policies of Alevis in the countries where they live. By incorporating social media and digital interaction, this project can also contribute to the ARU's digital teaching. 

    This project is led by Prof. Dr Handan Aksünger-Kizil and Dr. Deniz Coşan Eke. Initial start-up funding will come from the appointment funds of the professorship, and in the further run third-party funding is to be acquired

    For further information please visit the website of the project (in German).

    Project duration: 2022-

  • ATS: Bestandsaufnahme zu alevitischen Bedarfe Bedarfen und Alltagsleben in Österreich: Fallbeispiel Wien [Assessment of Alevi Needs and Everyday Life in Austria: Case Study Vienna]

    Even though Alevis have enjoyed a certain level of awareness among the Austrian public after 60 years of migration, the specific needs of Alevis have hardly been recorded in research so far. The project, led by Prof. Dr. Handan Aksünger-Kizil and Mag. Dr. Hüseyin Çiçek, pursues the goal of collecting data on Alevi needs in Austria for the first time, with a particular focus on Vienna. On the other hand, this project will focus on those specific fields of investigation through which "Alevi everyday life" and their inclusion within the Austrian mainstream society (with a special focus on voluntary work, among other things) and as a religious community (cooperation with different parishes, etc.) can best be recorded and analysed in qualitative and quantitative form.

    The case study of Vienna serves as a pilot project as well as a pioneering guideline study to find out data and information about Alevi everyday life in different regions of Austria in the future. Apart from important information about Alevis in Austria in general, such a study also offers the possibility to explicitly compare the Alevi community with other immigrant communities in the future and to gain important insights from this. The latter is to be done above all with a view to identifying factors that promote integration as well as factors that hinder integration. Comparative comparisons with Romanian, Turkish, Iranian, Moroccan or other communities are planned. In the course of the project, the necessary third-party funds are to be raised.

    Due to the Corona pandemic, this project cannot go forward at the moment.

    Project duration: 2019-

  • ATS: Digitale Edition und Übersetzung einer Buyruk-Handschrift [Digital Edition and Translation of a Buyruk Manuscript]

    Even though the transmission of religious knowledge in Alevism was primarily oral and through ritual acts, there are nevertheless a considerable number of written sources. As part of the project, a historical, Ottoman-language Buyruk manuscript will be transcribed and translated into German, which will appear in a digital version with commentary. The transcription has already been done and the translated version should be available by the spring of 2021. This project is led by Prof. Dr. Handan Aksünger-Kizil and Dr. Cem Kara. Start-up funding for the project will come from the professorship's appointment funds. In addition, further third-party funds are to be raised.  

    Project duration: 2019-

Completed projects


  • ATS: Bestandsaufnahme und Systematisierung [...] zur Qualifikation religiösen Personals in alevitischen Gemeinden in Deutschland [Inventory and systematisation [...] of religious personnel in Alevi communities in Germany]

    As part of the research expertise "Bestandsaufnahme und Systematisierung von Erfahrungen, Erwartungen und Empfehlungen zur Qualifikation religiösen Personals in alevitischen Gemeinden in Deutschland" [Inventory and systematisation of experiences, expectations and recommendations for the qualification of religious personnel in Alevi communities in Germany], we are looking for interviewees for qualitative interviews.

    In each city (Berlin, Hamburg, Mannheim, Stuttgart, Hannover and in the Ruhr area) five to six Alevi clergy (Dede and Ana) as well as Alevi lay people (Talip) are to be interviewed.

    The project, led by Prof. Dr. Handan Aksünger-Kizil, is funded with 25.000 euros by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in Germany. Dr. Deniz Cosan Eke is employed as a research assistant in the project. 

    You can find more information in the article linked here.

    Project duration: 2020-2022