The Activities of Minority and Foreign Schools in the Abdulhamit II Period
Zeki Salih Zengi̇n
Keywords: Ottoman Empire, Abdulhamit II, Non-muslim, Minority, Foreign
Following Tanzimat, there was an increase in the activities of minority and foreign schools in the Ottoman Country. The principles regarding the foundation and activities of these schools which were considered as private institutions were set in the 1869 dated Law of General Education. The principles, however, were not followed because of Ottoman Statesmen's negligence and foreign pressures. It is known that these schools which were mainly founded by the Americans, English, French, Russians and Germans were under the control of missionaries. Activities aiming to provoke the minorities and encouraging religion change were observed in these schools. That these schools took part in the outbreak and support of Armenian rebels occurred during the reign of Abdulhamit II was proven. Missionary activities, were also not in line with the traditional Ottoman understanding of preserving the religion and culture of its subjects. Therefore, the harmful activities of these schools were tried to be prevented and those schools violating the rules were closed. Despite all these, neither were these schools controlled nor were their harmful activities prevented. The problem could be resolved by the Law of Unification of Instruction enacted during the Republican period.