American missionaries in Marash on the eve of the Great War
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This thesis investigates the area of Marash from the eyes of the missionaries when the Ottoman Empire was approaching to the First World War, between 1913 and 1915. Was the crisis that the Ottomans faced an opportunity for the missionary organizations? It aims to demonstrate the demographical change, the psychology of the local population, the attitudes of the missionaries, the system in the schools and hospitals and how the local Ottoman population handled the war crises. This was done by revealing various untapped archives. Methodologically, the archival research employed in this thesis can be regarded as a qualitative, historical analysis. Some of the missionary letters, correspondences and annual meeting reports were investigated by utilizing screening method at the microfilm archives. Five main primary sources were utilized in this thesis. Firstly, letters and correspondences from Bilkent University, Library microfilm archives and online archives of the Universities were used. Secondly, The Missionary Herald was reviewed. Thirdly, the annual reports and fourthly the memoirs, diaries and books of the missionaries were utilized. Finally, Ottoman Empire archives were used. The thesis arrived at three main conclusions, firstly, the deteriorating relationship between the German Hulfbond and ABCFM indicated the complex and intermingled relationship of missionary organizations with the existing power relationships of their governments and how involved they were with the politics. Secondly, it revealed that pre-war periods or crises times were an opportunity for the missionary organizations to spread their values and beliefs and influence local populations. Finally, ABCFM has strengthened its position.