The decision came following a petition by Kemal Atalar, head of the Alevi Cultural Association's Mersin branch, who asked the council for financial assistance to support the ongoing construction of a three-story cemevi in Şanlıurfa's Sırrın neighborhood. The decision will be implemented if Şanlıurfa Governor Celalettin Güvenç approves it.
Alevis' request for financial support was discussed during the Şanlıurfa City Council's March meeting and referred to the council's Planning and Budget Commission. The commission prepared a report on providing aid in the amount of TL 70,000 for the construction of the cemevi. This report was put to a vote in the council's April meeting and was unanimously approved.
After the decision, Atalar thanked Mustafa Yavuz, the head of the city council, and other council members for taking their request into consideration. He also emphasized that the Şanlıurfa governor will ultimately make the decision on the issue. “We are building a cemevi in the Sırrın neighborhood. This three-story building will include a soup kitchen, conference hall, guesthouse, morgue and offices,” Atalar said, adding that around 15,000 Alevi citizens live in Şanlıurfa.
The Mersin City Council similarly decided in January that cemevis are places of worship and that their care, repair and other expenses should be paid for out of the council's budget.
Various Alevi groups hailed the decision and expressed hope that the practice would spread to other provinces. However, the decision was not authorized by Mersin's governor, who based his decision on Article 29 of Law 5018, saying that cemevis are not considered places of worship and therefore their general expenses cannot be paid from the municipal budget.