Circassian Organizations in the Ottoman Empire (1908-1923) by Zeynep Arslan

Thesis submitted to the Institute for Graduate Studies in the Social Sciences in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts
in History

by Elmas Zeynep (Aksoy) Arslan
Boğaziçi University, Istanbul 2008

ABSTRACT

My thesis is composed of two main sections, namely, Circassian Union and Support Association and Circassian Women’s Support Association. In these two main sections, there are two sub-headings in these two sections such as the newspaper Gûâze and Diyâne magazine.

Circassian Union and Support Association, the first society founded by the Circassians in the Ottoman Empire, was founded in Istanbul on 4 November 1908. I introduced my thesis by describing where and under what conditions the Circassian Union and Support Association was founded.

After learning about the founders and the active members, I focused on the activities of Circassian Union and Support Association. Under a general heading, I mentioned about the activities of the society. I tried to demonstrate those activities of the society that were ahead of its respective era and gave rise to great sensations.

The Circassian Women’s Support Association and its activities which I can call the second section of my thesis was one of the parts of my thesis worthy of attention. I introduced to this section by touching upon the foundation process and founders of Circassian Women’s Support Association. We can see that, in this society founded by five women, Hayriye Melek Hunç took the leading role.

Following the founders of Circassian Women’s Support Association, I started studying the activities of the society. The Circassian Women’s Support Society realized a dream of Circassian Union and Support Association and founded the Circassian Girl School. The Diyâne magazine, the publication body of Circassian Women’s Support Association, was the sub-heading of this section.

To conclude, I tried to describe how the Circassian Union and Support Association and Circassian Women’s Support Association aimed to bring the
Circassians living in diaspora under the single roof and create a Circassian nation with a single past, and a common future.

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