The Role of the Sport Communities and Gymnastics Classes on Nationalist Movements in the Ottoman Empire
Keywords: Ottoman Empire, Gymnastic Communities, Greeks, Bulgarians, Armenians
In Turkey, sports were not considered as a scientifi c branch, but rather a means for military training or personal joy. The people were banned from undertaking any activities that resembled military training. These could only be performed under the supervision of the state. The foreigners and Non-Muslims in Ottoman soil were performing sportive activities by founding communities. However, this was not legal. After the reinstitution of the Constitution in 1876, this legal gap was tried to be fi lled by enacting the act of communities. Thus, the present communities gained legal status and lots of sport clubs were founded. Some of those clubs; however, although containing legal status, performed illegal activities by allowing the people to take part in military training. This sometimes resulted in clashes between the community activists and offi cials, which sometimes even resulted in the institution of lawsuits for the activists.