What is a Cemevi?

A Cemevi is a building where Alevis worship and perform cem, come together and keep their culture alive. The word “Cem” means “meeting” and Cemevis are the places where Alevis come together to perform Cem, worship and live their beliefs.

What is done in Cemevleri?

Cem: Cem is a ceremony that includes Alevi worship and rituals. In Cems, semah is performed, breaths are recited, Duaz-ı imams are performed and donuts are distributed.
Semah: Semah is a dhikr that is part of Alevi worship and is accompanied by music.

Nefes: Nefes is one of the most widespread and well-known poetry forms in Alevi-Bektashi literature. As a literary term, nefes is the name given to the poems sung by Alevi-Bektashi poets, which are recited with a unique melody during the rituals of ikrar, etiquette, musahiplik or other sacrificial ceremonies.

Duaz-ı Imams: Duaz-ı Imamlar is a ritual in which the names of the twelve imams are mentioned and prayers are offered.
Lokma: Lokma is a food that is distributed in Alevi Cems and is considered a symbol of fertility.

Characteristics of Cem Houses:

Cemevis do not have a specific architectural structure. Any building can be used as a Cemevi. In Cemevleri, men and women are considered equal and they participate in the Cem together. There are no religious officials in Cemevleri. Cems are led by Cem men.

The Importance of Cemevis:

Cemevis are places where Alevis can freely practice their beliefs and maintain their culture. Cemevis contribute to the integration of Alevis into society and establish dialogue with other faith groups.

Cemevis are important for the preservation and transmission of Alevi-Bektashi tradition to future generations.

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