AbstractThis study focuses on the activities of American missionaries in Kayseri, who found a large area of activity during the regression period of the Ottoman Empire. They mostly carried out educational and health activities in Kayseri Station, founded in 1854 as a part of the Western Anatolia Mission. In this study, the schools opened in Kayseri are mentioned in the section reserved for educational activities. In terms of such activities, American College in Talas is particularly important, and American missionaries efficiently founded hospitals in Kayseri within the framework of health services. Using American Board archive documents, the present study attempts to shed light on all activities carried out and gives brief information about missionary activities in Kayseri.
Bu çalışmada, Amerikan misyonerlerinin Kayseri’de yapmış oldukları misyonerlik faaliyetlerine değinilmiştir. Amerikan misyonerleri Osmanlı Devleti’nin gerileme döneminde çok geniş bir çalışma sahası bulmuşlardır. Bu saha içinde Batı Türkiye Misyonu’nda bulunan ve 1854 yılında kurulan Kayseri İstasyonunda daha çok eğitim ve sağlık faaliyetlerinde bulunmuşlardır. Çalışmanın eğitim faaliyetleri kısmında; Kayseri’de açılan okullardan bahsedilmiştir. Eğitim alanında özellikle Talas’da bulunan Amerikan Koleji önemlidir. Sağlık faaliyetleri kapsamında Amerikalı misyonerler Kayseri’de de hastane kurarak çalışmalarını etkili kılmışlardır. Tüm faaliyetler Amerikan Board Arşiv belgeleri ışığında aydınlatılmaya çalışılmış ve Kayseri’deki misyonerlik faaliyetleri hakkında kısa bilgi verilmeye çalışılmıştır.The missionary institution called “American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions,” founded in 1810 in the USA, is commonly referred to as the “BOARD” or “ABCFM,” for short. With its headquarters in New York, the Board is the most prominent and significant institution among American missionary organizations. Considering the Ottoman Empire as an area to be explored, the American Board included it in its program and sent American missionaries called Pliny Fisk and Levi Parsons to Anatolia, and these missionaries came to İzmir on 14th January, 1820. Their mission was to discover new areas for missionary activities. These missionaries established their first center in İzmir, and it remained one of the most important centers of the Board until Istanbul Station was founded. Following the foundation of İzmir Station in 1823, a new station was founded in Bayrut. After the decision to establish another station in Istanbul in 1831, William Goodell and his family migrated from Malta, and two missionaries named Dwight and Schauffler came to Istanbul in 1832. In 1835, however, Anatolian mission was divided into two parts; that is, Istanbul Mission and Little Asia Mission. In the first annual meeting in Harput, the land of Anatolia was divided into three parts; namely, Eastern, Western and Central Anatolia Missions. The Foundation of Kayseri Station American missionaries examined Anatolia when they first came to the Ottoman lands for exploration. Every part of Anatolia was examined by such missionaries who came from Boston for exploration. The first American missionary to come to Kayseri region for exploratory purposes was de Peder Elnathan Gridley. Peder Elnathan Gridley, who set out from Boston accompanied by his teacher of Armenian language in early 1827, reached Kayseri to examine this area and learn Turkish. However, though afflicted with merciless malaria of Anatolia, Gridley could not give up his passion for climbing Mount Erciyes to Prof., Cumhuriyet University, Faculty of Education, firstname.lastname@example.org Res. Assist., Cumhuriyet University, Faculty of Education, email@example.com the thesis of the renowned geographer Strabon (BC 63- AD 24) that both the Mediterranean and the Black Sea are seen from the summit of this mount, so he lost his life and was buried in the snow-covered piedmonts of this mountain in 1827 (Kocabaşoğlu, 1989:36). As a result of the reports sent to the American Board after this first exploratory visit, in the meeting of the Turkish Mission of the Board in 1850, it was decided that Tokat, Sivas, Amasya and Merzifon should closely be monitored by Trabzon Station; Harput, Muş, Bitlis and Van should closely be monitored by Erzurum Station, and a special attention should be paid to Kayseri and Tarsus. As a result of these decisions, the first American Missionary Centre was founded in Kayseri in 1854 (Kocabaşoğlu, 1989:92). When the achieved documents of the American Board are examined, it is seen that among the Western Turkish Mission stations were Istanbul, İzmir, Tokat, Bursa, Sivas, Yozgat, Bahçecik and Edirne along with Kayseri as significant stations (P.A.B.C.F.M., Reel 582 Document Number: 4). Upon examining the documents that belong to 1861, it is possible to see the significance of Kayseri in the Western Turkish mission (P.A.B.C.F.M., Reel 582 Document Number: 9,10). Annual Statistical Data for the Year 1861 Name of The Mission: The Western Turkey Mission Employees Stations and External Stations Mis sio na rie s D oc to r O the r M ale A ss is ta nts Fe m ale s To ta l Prie st Lice nse d Pre ac he rs Scho O the r A ss is ta nts To ta l Istanbul Kayseri Sivas Bursa Bandırma Bahçecik Bilecik Adapazarı Ankara Churches and Communities N am e of t he Sta tio n N um b er o f Chu Pe opl e Wo rkin g for the F ie ld of Re lig io n Pe opl e Re gis te re d in O the r Chu Job Q uit te rs D ea d A na the m atiz ed Me m be rs Fe m ale M em b ers To ta l Me m be rs Firs t Me m be rs Lo ca tio ns w he re Se rmo ns are D eliv ere d Su nd ay Ma ss Com The olo gic al Se m in arie s Stu de nts at The olo gic al Se m in arie s Istanbul Kayseri Sivas Bursa Bandırma Bahçecik Bilecik Adapazarı Ankara As seen in the tables, American missionaries in Kayseri employed 50 people in 1861. The number of church members was increased to 51. Missionaries were highly efficient in educational and health activities in Kayseri. When doing such activities, they accepted Talas as a point of departure. Being a branch of Kayseri Mission, Talas Mission was founded in 1870 as a remote station, but it became the central station in time. Kayseri Mission was unified with Talas Mission in time, and the former became the centre (Özsoy, 1996:47). The first American school founded in Talas is American Girls' School, opened in 1871. An American named James L. Fowle founded a school for male students in Lower Talas. Such elementary schools functioned as handcraft courses. In the modern sense, the first American school to be founded in Talas is American Girls' School, which started education after being opened in 1888. This school started its educational activities one year later in 1889 in the building called Pasha's Konak or Konak with Lions in Upper Talas, which is now used as the social facilities at Erciyes University. Once again in the same year, 1889, an American called Mr. Wintage founded a boys' high school instead of the one founded previously in Lower Talas in 1882. One year later, health services were provided in 1890 near the point where girls' school was located. The most remarkable activities of American missionaries in Kayseri are those carried out in the field of education and health. The following section presents a brief outline of such activities. Educational Activities of Protestant American Missionaries in Talas Schools are the most productive and notable field of work for missionaries. Thanks to education, missionaries have reached their overall and specific objectives for years to come. Through the means of education, they carried out their missionary activities without arousing feelings of hostility in Turks. Therefore, these schools were opened in every corner of the empire (Tozlu, 1991:72-73). The most widespread educational institutions in the Ottoman Empire were American schools. An increase in the number of such schools paralleled the rise of Protestantism. Attaching a special importance to education, the American Board opened elementary and secondary schools and colleges in every part of the state (Ertuğrul, 2002:156; Taşdemirci, 2001:13-30). Such schools spread quickly in the Ottoman Empire. Statistical data related to education in 1880 only in Western Turkish mission were as follows: Stations and External Stations H ig h er E du ca ti on Ins titu tio ns o f The olo gy a nd O the r Fie lds Stu de nts G irls in Bo ardingScho ols Stu de nts Se co nd ary Scho ols Scho olbo ys Scho olg irls To ta l nu m be r of Stu de nts The olo gy Stu de nts A du lts A ll Stu de nts Bursa Kayseri Istanbul Manisa Merzifon Izmit Sivas Total