A "compassionnate" episode in Anglo-Ottoman history : British relief to '93 refugees (1877-1878)
Dinçyürek, Sadiye Sena
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This thesis aims to provide an indebt analysis of the British relief to the Ottoman Refugees of 1877-78 Russo-Turkish War (’93 Refugees). The course of the war resulted in an enormous exodus especially through the Balkans. Hundreds of thousands of Ottoman subjects had to flee towards the heartlands of the Ottoman Empire in destitute conditions. The official British foreign policy was determined as neutrality, however the British civilian initiative together with the diplomatic actors showed their support to the Ottomans through humanitarian relief. In August 1877, a campaign was initiated in London, The Turkish Compassionate Fund was established especially for the ’93 Refugees and the other British organizations soon got involved in the relief of non-combatants. The British Ambassador to the Porte superintended the whole process and mobilised the diplomatic network under his command thus iv philanthropy was used as a tool of diplomacy. The British endeavour to succour ’93 Refugees was met with content by the Ottoman authorities and received the Sultan’s appreciation. This thesis reveals a rarely known episode of Anglo-Ottoman history far from the classical approaches of the diplomatic history of the period and handles the issue as a different dimension of the Anglo-Ottoman relations.