Foreign Schools and Cultural Nationalism: Proselytizing Incident at the Bursa American Girls’ Lycee (1928)
Keywords: Turkey American Board, Missionary, Mission Schools, Bursa American Girls’Lycee, education
This study aims to reexamine the closing of Bursa American Girls' Lycee and proselytizing incident within the scope of correspondences and reports belong to American missionaries. Initial intention of the study is to shed light on the nature and cause of proselytizing incident whether it was a result of missionary propaganda or not. Furthermore, it investigates the foreign school perception of ruler elite of the republic between the lines of Turkish press and missionary reports. Missionary schools were not a source of concern for only Ottoman rulers during the 19th Century onwards but also for those of the early Republic. Closing of the Bursa American Girls' Lycee in 1928 due to proselytizing of some of the Muslim students paved the way to redefine mission schools in Turkey. The proselytizing incident at the college has been subject for a great deal of studies mainly based on local sources and memoirs. These studies widely inclined to attach the closing of the college to secularist education policies endorsed by the Law for Unification of Education (Tevhid-iTedrisatKanunu) in 1924. Nevertheless, attempts to eliminate external agents in the course of nation-building process during early Republic period should be read as part of cultural nationalism.