SERVANT LEADERSHIP BEHAVIORS OF ALEVİ FAITH LEADERS

İbrahim GÜL

Alevism is a way of life and can be regarded as a different interpretation of Islam. The model which best explains the Alawi faith is Hacı Bektaş Veli's teaching regarding four gates-forty ranks. Alavists see themselves in the second gate of his teaching. The Alevi spiritual path (yol) is commonly understood to take place through four major life-stages, or "gates". These may be further subdivided into "four gates, forty levels" (Dört Kapı Kırk Makam). The first gate of this teaching, which is called as gate of the order, makes it necessary to be committed to the leader of the sect in Alevism. The leaders of the Alevi faith are those who have made a significant contribution to the presence of Alevi faith coming up to the day. This study, which focuses on the servant leadership behaviors of the Alawi faith leaders, is a theoretical study based on document analysis. Firstly, two themes as Alevisi faith leaders and servant leadership were examined under separate titles and then synthesized under the title of leadership behaviors that must be shown by Alevism leaders. Alevi faith leaders have an important position in the survival and continuity of Alawi faith. But nowadays, with the increase of the education level of the people, the work of the Alevi faith leaders becomes also difficult. It is increasingly difficult for traditional spritüal guides called as Dede to persuade young people without updating themselves. In this respect, it is inevitable for the leaders of faith to show leadership behaviors. Servant leadership is a form of leadership which is compatible with the desired characteristics of the spritual guides of the faith and takes servicing as a central aim. Alevi faith leaders must also have the skills needed for servicing for their followers as well as all humans such as listening skills, empathy, recognizing the truths and persuadion skills for their own followers. They must also have a good sense of comprehension, must be foresighted individuals helping people to improve themselves. The Dedes should be unifying, should be able to shepherd to their followers as indicated in a old Anatolian saying.

Key words: Alevism, Alevism faith, leader, servant leader, leadership behaviors, education