THE URBAN NETWORK OF RÜŞDIYYES IN THE BALKANS AND IN ANATOLIA IN THE 1840S – 1870S
Études balkaniques (Sofia) 2022 N 3
Institute of Balkan Studies & Centre of Thracology
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Abstract: Following the establishment of the first rüşdiyyes in Istanbul in 1847, the Council of Education launched an active policy of spreading their network in the entire territory of the Ottoman Empire. Exploring the process, the article pays attention to the edifices that housed them and the attempts to coeducate Muslims and Non-Muslims. Although its initial endeavors failed, the Council of Education did not hesitate and took every opportunity to promote the rüşdiyyes. The growth of the network was influenced by positive and negative factors, natural disasters and political events. The most important problem that slowed down its development was the difficulty to provide quickly an adequate building. Nevertheless, by January 1876 there was a rüşdiyye in almost two-thirds of all Ottoman administrative centres. Nowadays many of the rüşdiyye edifices have been demolished while modernizing the urban environment. The article is based on documents and newspapers kept in the Sts Cyril and Methodius National Library of Bulgaria, the Istanbul Ottoman Archive, the Library of the Turkish Historical Society, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Taksim Atatürk Library, and the Library of the Turkiye Diyanet Foundation Centre for Islamic Studies.
Keywords: Tanzimat, education, rüşdiyyes, Muslims, Non-Muslims