Murat Alandağlı

Keywords: Kör Dede, Bandit, Alawi, Çorum, Military fugitive, Circassians, Greek Bandits

Abstract

The period between the end of the XIX and beginning of the XX Centuries witnessed extremely important developments in the development of the history of the Ottoman Empire. Some of the developments experienced during this period led to the decline in the management discipline, social justice and military organization. In addition to this situation, the deterioration of the central provincial coordination led to the increase in Banditry actions. Thus, Bandit-based movements emerged and were seen in different parts of the Ottoman countryside. Çorum was one of the centres which hosted many of these rebellious acts in history. Among some of these developments which emerged and gained prominence in the early phase of the XX Century in Çorum, initially on individually bases and with time as administrative, socio-economic and religious fundamentalism was the banditry of "Kör Dede" (Blind Grandfather). Therefore, in our study, we come across several anecdotes regarding especially struggles of the Empire, and the people of the region, its officials and military where the gang of "Kör Dede" was active in the period. Although it's a study of the regional experiences, it will shed a light on the Ottoman Countryside. For this reason, the example of Çorum movement in particular opened a new window in the Ottoman Countryside. From this window: we see that, "Kör Dede" Circassians , administrators, military, the Dedesli tribe, the Alawi - Turkmen class, were actually nothing other than ruthless tax collectors on the basis of the oppressive empire for the frustrated people. The only difference was the time and the individuals.