Template:Alevism Ishikism [pron: 'Ishik-ism] (Turkish: Işıkçılık or Işık Aleviliği), also called Ishik Alevism, is an offshoot of Alevism. The foundation of Ishikism was laid by the Turkish writer Erdoğan Çınar in 2004, with the publication of his book Aleviliğin Gizli Tarihi (The Secret History of Alevism).

The Ishikis claim that the term "Alevi" is derived from the old Anatolian "Luwi" people, claiming that the word "Luvi" means "people of light" in the Hittite language,[1] while the term "Alevi" in traditional Alevism is derived from Ali, as in the Arabic word "Alawi". Some Ottoman documents from the 16th century refer to the ancestors of today's Alevis as "Işık Taifesi", meaning "People of Light". According to Ishikis, this proves the connection between the Luvians and Alevis.


Ishikis consider themselves to be esotericists, claiming that Ishikism is Esotericism itself, meaning that they identify themselves with every type of esotericism in history (e.g. Jewish esotericists, Christian esotericists, Islamic and Pagan esotericism etc.)

They claim that Ishikism is the oldest religion in the world, that has changed shapes by time. This "First and True Religion" of the World, is claimed to have been the main source for all other religions and beliefs in the world:

Aleviliğin, on binlerce yıllık geçmişten gelen, bütün inanışları etkilemiş, semavi dinlere başlangıç oluşturmuş asıl kaynak, "Serçeşme", olduğunu bütün gerçekliğiyle ortaya çıkartıyor.[2]

Translated: It has now been brought into the open with all its truth, that Alevism, with its tens of thousands of years of history, has influenced all beliefs and has been the original source (the so-called "Serçeşme" - meaning "Beginning Spot of Fountain") of the celestial religions. </blockquote> The Ishikis also claim that the religious ceremonies practiced by Alevis where practiced as early as by the Hittites and even by the Sumerians. According to Ishikis, medieval Christian sects as Paulicianism, Bogomilism etc. were also Alevis. Even though the Ishikis claimed a 3,000-year long Alevi history for several years, they have now changed this to be 12,000 years[3] which they presented at a conference held in Berlin in January 2009.


Ishikis are mostly leftists, and especially communists. Therefore they have also been accused for establishing a "communist Alevi" religion. Foreigners believe that they are using Alevism as an instrument to revive communism among the Alevi society. Ishikism also contain prejudice and antipathy towards Islam, which they see as a barbarian religion. Even though Ishikis have negative views of orthodox Muslims, both Ishikis and the orthodox Muslims recognize only Islamic orthodoxy as "true Islam" and consider groups like the Ahl-e Haqq, Ismaili Shiism, Nusayri Alawism, Bektashism and other heterodox groups separate from Islam.


The Ishiki versus Traditionalist split has caused a deep opening in between the Alevi society. This is the first time in centuries, that Alevis have experienced a split in beliefs.

Traditionalist Alevis have strongly opposed the Ishikis, who they consider as people who are creating a completely new religion[4], or sometimes as undercover agents who are trying to tear up the Alevi unity.

Ishikis are also criticized for abandoning fundamental Alevi sources, such as the Buyruk, which has been one of the most used written sources among Alevis.

Some traditionalists have gone so far to demand that Ishiki Dedes like Hasan Kilavuz gets the penalty of exclusion[5] (Yol Dushkunlugu).

Lately, many new blogs and websites (e.g. has appeared as a protest towards the Ishiki movement. Some of them have been financed and created by the rival organization CEM Vakfı.

Ishiki Organizations

Ishikis have succeeded in overtaking power in important and powerful organizations. The Alevi Confederation of Europe (AABK) has abandoned its traditional Alevi understanding in 2006, which it replaced with a marginal understanding[6].

Today AABK also possess its own TV-channel, YOL TV.

Some organizations in Turkey have also changed their definitions of Alevism.

Ishiki Dedes

Even though most Dedes are still traditionalists, some of them have eventually become Ishikis. The first Dede who openly declared his non-traditionalists views was Hasan Kilavuz in 2003. He is now one of the main figures in the Alevi Confederation of Europe (AABK) and its television channel YOL TV.



The only existing primary sources of Ishikism are the works of the Turkish writer Erdoğan Çınar:

  • Aleviliğin Gizli Tarihi / Demirin Üstünde Karınca İzi (2004)
  • Aleviliğin Kayıp Bin Yılı (325-1325) Yolcu Ateşte Yanmak İle Yol Yanmaz (2006)
  • Kayıp Bir Alevi Efsanesi (2007)
  • Aleviliğin Kökleri & Abdal Musa'nın Sırrı (2008)da:Ishikisme

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