Ankara, İstanos, and Muratca stations in the scope of American protestant missionaries’ activities in Turkey (1862-1885)

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Bursa Uludağ University, Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, Turkey

Approval Date: 2019

Thesis Language: Turkish

Student: Muhsin Önal



In the process of the dissolution and collapse of the Ottoman Empire, American Protestant missionaries who reached the territory of Turkey had serious negative effects on the situation in the country. Especially during the period between 1862 and 1885, this effect made itself felt more. Because the aforementioned period corresponds to the maturity stage of American missionary work. In this research, the activities of the Board members who carried out missionary activities in Anatolia for a long time based on Ankara, Istanos and Muratca stations were examined. Missionaries struggled to exist by using different methods and means at these mentioned stations. First of all, they organized discovery visits to the region where they would operate. Because getting to know and being recognized is the first key to being successful. The missionaries' guide in this regard were the travellers who strode through the geography of Turkey which was expressed as 'Asia Minor' inch by inch. The missionaries, who followed the road opened by the travellers, after knowing the region where they would operate, began to engage in religious propaganda by opening institutions such as schools, churches, orphanages in these settlements, which they named as stations. They also supported this propaganda through sales of books and magazines. A similar progression was followed at the stations that were the subject of the research. When the missionaries were in trouble in the course of their proceedings, the designated authority to apply was England. The Great Britain Government spared no sacrifice to overcome the obstacles that the USA Protestants faced with. This is a very important example which reveals that the mission activities carried out by the member missionaries of the Board Organization did not proceed on a purely religious axis but also had a political aspect. As a result, the activities in three different stations of the geography of Turkey of the Missionaries of the Board organization based in the USA are based largely on the archival records of the mentioned organization and the diaries of the Protestant travellers who organized an exploratory visit to the region. Activities at the stations covered by the study were studied by using comparison and synthesis methods. The conclusion is that the missionaries did not achieve any serious success except Muratca station.