Dr. Vasfi Güsar (1895-1978)

Born in Istanbul in 1895, Dr. Vasfi Güsar was a leading Circassian (Adyghe) activist and writer of the Circassian diaspora in the late Ottoman Empire and the succeding Republic of Turkey. As his father was a colonel in the Ottoman Army, Güsar received his primary education in Amman (Jordan) and secondary education in Damascus and Nablus (Syria). After graduating from a French high school in Damascus, he entered the Military Medical School in Istanbul, then capital city of the Ottoman Empire. He was sent to serve in the Gallipoli Front in 1915 during the First World War when he was still a student. He graduted from the Military Medical School in 1918 and joined the Ottoman Army. He joined the Turkish War of Independence in 1919 in Anatolia and served as a military doctor in the western front. He resigned from the army in 1928 and died in Istanbul in 1978.[1]

Güsar was member of the Istanbul-based “Circassian Union and Beneivolent Society” (Çerkes İttihat ve Teavün Cemiyeti) and North Caucasus Society (Şimali Kafkas Cemiyeti) when he was student at the Military Medical School. In 1919, Güsar translated Foreign Affairs Minister of the short-lived North Caucasus Republic Mr. Haydar Bammat’s book titled “Le Probleme du Caucase” from French into Turkish and he published that translation in the “Kafkas” newspaper published in Bursa, Turkey. Activities of the North Caucasus diaspora in Turkey were heavily repressed between 1920s-1950s due to the official Turkification policies. Güsar became one of the founders and directors of the Istanbul-based Caucasus Cultural Association (Kafkas Kültür Derneği) in 1950 after the end of this repression period. Güsar wrote articles about the Circassian issues in the Caucasus Journal (Kafkas Dergisi) and Caucasus Bulletin (Kafkas Mecmuası), journals of the Caucasus Cultural  Association between 1953-1956.[2]

Güsar later became the proofreader and a writer of the New Caucasus Journal (Yeni Kafkasya Mecmuası) between 1957-1962, a successor to the above mentioned journals of the Caucasus Cultural Association. After the closure of these journals, Güsar wrote in the Ankara-based Caucasus (Kafkasya) journal and other similar journals. He translated 19th century Circassian historian Shora Noghuma’s (Negumuko) book “Istoria Adygeyskogo Naroda” (“History of the Circassian People”, in Russian) from its Arabic version into Turkish and published his translation as book titled Adyghe-Hatykhe Circassian History (Adıge-Hatıkhe Çerkes Tarihi) in Istanbul in 1976. Güsar also published a pamphlet about the 19th century Circassian philosopher Kazanokho Jebaghi in Istanbul in 1971.[3]

 


 

[1] Sefer E.Berzeg, Kafkasya Diasporası’nda Edebiyatçılar Ve Yazarlar Sözlüğü; and http://www.circassiandiaspora.com/biyografiler/1346-vasfi-gusar.html

[2] Sefer E.Berzeg, Kafkasya Diasporası’nda Edebiyatçılar Ve Yazarlar Sözlüğü; and http://www.circassiandiaspora.com/biyografiler/1346-vasfi-gusar.html

[3] Sefer E.Berzeg, Kafkasya Diasporası’nda Edebiyatçılar Ve Yazarlar Sözlüğü; and http://www.circassiandiaspora.com/biyografiler/1346-vasfi-gusar.html