Madimak Hotel, Sivas

2 July 1993

On July 2, 1993, the Madımak Hotel, located in Sivas, in Central Anatolia, was the site of a massacre targeting the participants of the Fourth Pir Sultan Abdal Festival. The event brought together individuals and organizations from the Alevite community, including artists, intellectuals and religious figures. While Alevites constitute of the largest ethnoreligious groups in Turkey, they have faced pogroms and different forms of discrimination since the Ottoman era. 

The Madımak Hotel was set on fire by an angry mob of radical Islamists, protesting the gathering. 33 participants in the festival were killed, including well-known intellectuals, musicians and poets from different regions of Turkey, such as Hasret Gültekin and Metin Altıok. Four victims were under the age of 18. Two members of the hotel staff also lost their lives, as well as two members of the mob. 65 people were injured. Although security forces were present, they mostly remained passive and firefighters were late to intervene. Refusing to acknowledge the scope of the massacre and its anti-Alevite dimension, the local authorities and government of the time rather portrayed the incident as an attack against the left-wing intellectual Aziz Nesin, whom they accused of provoking the people with his attacks against religion. 

124 persons were arrested in relation with the arson and 33 initially sentenced to death penalty. However, the death penalty convictions were overturned by the Court of Appeal in 1998 and many perpetrators were either released during the judicial proceedings or granted pardon. In 2012, the statute of limitations was used to drop the case, despite the mobilization of the Alevite community and rights defenders. In 2015, the report published by the State Audit Board (DDK) of the presidency, acknowledged “serious negligence and failures” of the state authorities and pointed their responsibilities in the massacre. While victims’ families and NGOs called to turn the Madımak Hotel into a site of conscience, the building was nationalised and became a science museum in November 2010. 


Madımak Hotel shall become a Museum of Shame, Pir Sultan Abdal Alevi Association, 2019, Sivas.
Madımak Hotel shall become a Museum of Shame, Pir Sultan Abdal Alevi Association, 2019, Sivas.