Mission in Mamuratu’l-Aziz Province: CapucinsSelim Kılıçoğlu
Missionary activities have been active in the Ottoman lands since the 16th century. The Anatolian geography, which is located in the Ottoman lands and defined as the “Bible Land” in missionary reports, is one of the important areas of mission work. Mamuratü’l-Aziz Province, which is located in the Anatolian geography today and includes the provincial borders of Elazig, is among the central stations of missionary in the 19th century. The main purpose of this study is to draw attention to the French mission in the mission works carried out in the Ottoman lands, and to the activity and working areas in Anatolia in particular, and to create a discussion area. In this study, which I have divided into three main sections, the general scheme of Missionary in the Ottoman lands consists of the position of the French in this general scheme and the location of Mamuratü’l-Aziz and Harpoot in the Anatolian geography. In the study, drawings obtained from Ottoman archive documents and images taken by the traveler or their travelers in the period were used. In this region, the Capuchins, which is affiliated with the Franciscan community, built and carried out studies at the college level under the auspices of the French State. Within the scope of the article, the construction activities carried out by the Capuchins in Harpoot and Mamuratü’l Aziz were evaluated.
Mamuratü’l-Aziz Vilayeti Yabancı Misyonu: Kapusenler (Capucins)Selim Kılıçoğlu
Misyonerlik faaliyetleri Osmanlı topraklarında 16. yüzyıldan beri etkin bir şekilde devam etmiştir. Osmanlı toprakları içerisinde yer alan ve misyoner raporlarında “Bible Land” olarak tanımlanan Anadolu coğrafyası ise misyon çalışmalarının önemli bölgelerindendir. Günümüzde Anadolu coğrafyası içerisinde yer alan ve ağırlıklı olarak Elazığ il sınırlarını kapsayan Mamuratü’l-Aziz Vilayeti, 19. yüzyılda misyonerliğin merkez istasyonları arasındadır. Bu çalışmanın temel amacı, Osmanlı topraklarında yürütülen misyon faaliyetlerinden Fransız misyonuna, özelde de Anadolu’daki faaliyet alanlarına dikkat çekmek ve tartışma sahası oluşturmaktır. Üç ana bölüme ayrılan bu makalede, misyonerliğin Osmanlı topraklarındaki genel şeması, Fransızların bu genel şema içerisindeki konumu ve Anadolu coğrafyası özelinde bulunan Mamuratü’l-Aziz ve Harput’un yeri incelenmektedir. Çalışmada Osmanlı arşiv belgelerinden elde edilmiş çizimlerle o dönemde gezginler tarafından çekilmiş görsellerden yararlanılmıştır. Bu bölgede Fransisken cemaatine bağlı olan Kapusen tarikatı, Fransa Devleti himayesinde kolej seviyesinde yapı inşa edip çalışmalar yürütmüşlerdir. Makale kapsamında Harput ve Mamuratü’l Aziz’de Kapusenlerin yapmış oldukları inşa faaliyetleri de değerlendirilmiştir.
There are three main sections that stand out in this article. The first is the activities of the Christian missionary, the second is the mission work carried out by the French in the Ottoman Empire, and the other is the construction activities in Mamuratü’l Aziz, an important mission station in Anatolia. The main purpose of the study is to draw attention to the mission works carried out in Anatolia under the French auspices and to create a field of discussion.
As it is known, missionary dates back to the first times of Christianity. The teachings of St. Paul, which come to mind when missionary is mentioned, constitute the main reference point in the field of missionary work. Thus, Christianity was tried to be conveyed to people in other geographies, it was aimed to adopt and accept religion.
Anatolia, which has an important place in Christian teachings and history and known as Bible land, has been considered among the important focal points of missionary. The subjects of the Ottoman Empire, which have ruled in these lands for a long time, have been the first addressees of the missionary. The first known missionary activity in the Ottoman Empire started in 1583 when the Jesuits came to Istanbul.
Catholic sects operating in the Ottoman geography; The Jesuits in 1583, The Observants in 1584, the Capuchins in 1587, Riformati in 1630, Lazariste in 1783, Filles de la Charite in 1838, Fréres des Ecoles Cheretienes in 1842, Notre Dame de Sion in 1861 The Georgian Catholic continues in the form of the Italian Ivrea Priests of 1869, while the Protestant sects; The American Board of Commissioners for Foregin Mission-ABCFM, The American Bible Society (ABS), The American Tract Society, Presbyterian Board, The American Friends’ Mission, Armenia and The National Armenia and Indian Relief Association, Reformist Churches Union, Young Men Christian Union, Young Women Christian Union, Methodists, The Near East Relief.
In the 19th century, mission work became systematic, and each Christian Foreign State carried out its own mission work. Although Christianity was divided into separate branches as Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox, they carried out separate mission works under the auspices of states in particular.
The French mission work, which is one of the missions carried out specifically for foreign states, dates back to the 16th century. In addition to obtaining commercial concessions from the Ottoman Empire through Capitulations, the French began to gain privileges in the religious field as of the 17th century. Thus, the French acted as the sole and true guardians of the Christian mission carried out in the Ottoman lands.
The first Catholic school established in the Ottoman Empire was St. Benoit School. The school was opened by Jesuit priests. Another important Catholic school is St. Louis Language School. Louis Language School, gave language training to mission officials in the east. The officials who were educated here carried out activities in Anatolia and the Holy Land under the auspices of France.
Among these activities, Mamuratü’l Aziz, an important station, draws attention. Mamuratü’l Aziz and Harpoot is a settlement that has been used since the Urartians, and its proximity to trade routes to the north and east gives this region a strategic importance. Although the region of Harpoot and Mamuratü’l Aziz was under the rule of the Ottomans since the 16th century, it was under the Diyarbakir Province, it was governed as a separate province from the middle of the 19th century. In addition to the American Protestant missionary in Harpoot, the French Capuchin mission also operated in this region.
In the Ottoman archives, as it is understood from the document “Appointment of the French Consul Deputy” in Harpoot in 1859, there was a community under the auspices of the French. The properties of the Capuchins reflected in the Ottoman archive documents in Harpoot and the abundance of construction activities they carried out in these properties show that an active mission field is working. With this motivation, it has been determined that the Capuchins also opened a French school in Mamuratü’l Aziz.
In the Mamuratü’l-Aziz Province yearbooks (1869-1907) that there are Armenian girls and boys schools. Girls and boys schools belonging to Kapusen priests in Gürcübey District. The number of female students belonging to Capuchins is 30 and the number of male students is 60.
After the First World War, the mission activities here were stopped. Kapusen French College was used by the Directorate of Education (Ministry of Education) for this period. However, none of these buildings have survived to the present day.
Considering the number of buildings and the quality of the building understood through the visuals, Mamuratü’l Aziz and Kapusen in Harpoot suggest that the mission is structured with a long-term and permanent understanding.