Exile, resistance and deportation: Circassian opposition to the Kemalists in the South Marmara in 1922–1923

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Middle Eastern Studies

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After the Ankara government’s victory in the Turkish-Greek War of 1919-1922, Ankara turned its attention to the punishment of those domestic groups known to oppose it. The anti-Kemalist Circassians, Çerkes Ethem, Kuşçubaşı Eşref, were of particular concern to Ankara, due to their activities against it. The Ankara government’s alarm over the activities of anti-nationalists was heightened. Therefore, to gain control of the region Ankara employed very harsh policies against its opponents. It took the decision to exile fourteen Circassian villages in the Gönen-Manyas area to central and eastern parts of Turkey to secure the region. By using the British Foreign Office records, The Prime Ministry Ottoman and Republican Archives (BOA,BCA), Turkish Military Archive (ATASE), TİTE, Ankara University, History of Turkish Revolution Institute Archive this article argues that the tense Turkish-Greek War in Western Anatolia (1919-1922) convinced Ankara that it would be nearly impossible for it to control the region, and thus it sought extremely harsh methods to deal with the Circassians. As a result of this overreaction, and the associated collective punishment, many women, children and innocent people in the region became victims.


Anahtar Kelimeler

Circassians, Ottoman Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Kemalism, Circassians, Early Turkish Republican Period, Bandits, South Marmara, Turkish-Greek War of 1919-1922.


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