Talk:Halide Edip Adıvar

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The School issue[edit]

Halide Edip Adıvar, graduated from American College Girls, which was a missionary institution founded in Gedikpaşa, though later moved to Üsküdar. During Halide Edip's study, the campus was in Üsküdar. After a fire, the school moved to European side, to Arnavutköy. Today, on Üsküdar campus is another school, which is not linked to American College for Girls.

Halide Edip's school, American College for Girls, was the female section of Robert College. Robert College and American College for Girls united in 1971 as a coeducational school.

So it is possible to name Halide Edip either American College for Girls alumna or a graduate of Robert College; however, she didn't study in Üsküdar American Academy or any school related with it. See below:

In October of the same year, the American College for Girls was opened in Gedikpaşa, again with funding by American missionaries. Julia Rappleye, together with Mrs. Bowker and Caroline Borden, the college moved to Üsküdar in 1876. Later, Mary Mills Patrick would become headmistress, remaining in the position until 1924. In her memoirs Borden points out that the school library, as a major contribution to education, consisted of a few hundred books. Borden donated her entire fortune, possessions, and books to the Girls’ College...

...In 1914 the Girls’ College settled in Arnavutkoy together with its possessions and books. Only four buildings were as yet completed. The inauguration ceremony was held in the conference hall (now the library) of the central building, Gould Hall. Halide Edip Adivar, a 1901 alumna, made a rousing speech. The then library was adjacent to this meeting hall.

taken from Robert College website.

The proper thing to do is to reference it, so that is what I shall do.--Adoniscik (talk) 15:48, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Soldier Halide Edib[edit]

What enemies did she fight as soldier? Once in the article 1917 is mentioned then the "War of independence" later. On what frotnlines were her battlegrounds? [[Apocolocynthosis (talk) 13:23, 30 November 2008 (UTC)]]

She wasn't a soldier in the gun-toting sense. She acted as Mustafa Kemal's press secretary during the war and was eventually given a formal rank as a soldier. She served in army headquarters, however near the front lines that may have been.

DonnyhocaDonnyhoca (talk) 11:58, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Inspector of schools[edit]

Please, if you write, H.E. was inspector of schools add a citation and do not misuse the one mentioning her racist re-eduction of non-Turkish children while omitting this very fact. Just add a reference for 'inspector'. Apocolocynthosis (talk) 13:23, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

"Fate of the orphans of the Ayntura college (in the 1870s known as Lazarian Varzharan)? The orphans other than those taken away from Beatrice Rohner's Aleppo orphanage?" No, I don't know any more, and H.E. doesn't mention them anymore as far as I know. Donnyhoca (talk) 12:59, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Articles like this would be very useful -- if they actually included direct translations from the documents in questions or reproduced the documents themselves. As it stands, the summaries of the documents' contents seem extremely biased. I can't take seriously any article that includes a sentence like "Halide Edib Hanum was ... very well known for her efforts to turkify Armenian orphans." Well-known to whom? Donnyhoca (talk) 13:32, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Well, I did not mention Aztag. But you deleted the footnote of R.Kévorkian (while still leaving it among the references.) I would prefer to include the description of Halide Hanim's efforts of Turkification in a citation from R.K. to Aztag. As he is a renowned historian. He wrote the state of the art history of the Armenian Genocide for years to come. And there will be soon an English translation to his 1.000 page work in French: Le génocide des Arméniens, 2006.
Ok, so. Now after reading your commentary on the discussion page I may interpret your latest input as "questioning Halide Hanim's involvment into Turkification policies of Armenian & Kurdish orphans". You should clearly have stated this. It is rather confusing and rather long paragraph/dialogue for a biographical article. What are we going to do now? - I propose then to stick to the Turkification-education and you may contrast it clearer with a statement stressing her non-racist, so-called "philanthrophic social-darwinism" (or whatever you may find evidence for). Apocolocynthosis (talk) 23:15, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Well, the Aztag article is not that bad. I just read it. It is a great start for your personal research. Go ahead and dig further. (I know that is not the idea of Wikipedia but no one wll hinder you to get to the bottom of this story. Apocolocynthosis (talk) 23:20, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
My God, in 1993 the remains of 300 orphans were found behind the altar! What Holy Djihad! Mashallah! What education! Apocolocynthosis (talk) 23:22, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes, the quotes are very long for a biographical article. But I included them to demonstrate a better way of deploying evidence. If you want to say "Halide Edip participated in the Turkification of Armenian orphans," you can. But it's misleading and incomplete.

We need to be very careful about how we summarize our sources. If we don't feel capable of summarizing them in a neutral way, or if they're not easily accessible to the casual reader, then we should quote from them.

I don't have access to the Kevorkian book. I deleted the reference because it didn't clearly summarize any information or actually point to a page number. If you could provide copies of the relevant pages, I would gladly include them. Or you can re-insert them. (I can read French, so that's not a problem.)

Again, I'll state my objection to the Aztag article. Everything it says seems plausible. But it provides no documentation. For instance, with the 300 orphans. How do we know the bodies found in 1993 are the 300 orphans who died? The article doesn't actually say how many bodies were found or whether they were even children.

By all this, I don't want to deny the horror of the time period. I just want to say that it shouldn't be used to smear Halide Edip. Donnyhoca (talk) 08:01, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

P.S. I was wrong the Kevorkian did point to a page number. But it was not at all clear what information was being summarized or cited. A quotation might be better. And maybe a mention of Kevorkian's source for the statement.

Notice that when I quote someone, I try to provide context. For instance, "Halide Edip says..." (so we know to watch out for HER biases) or "an acquaintance of Halide Edip says..." (so we know the source maybe wasn't so close to her), etc.

Again, it's very important to be careful with sources. Donnyhoca (talk) 08:06, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Name of the city[edit]

Regarding the edit labeled "Not called Istanbul at the time" in which mentions of Istanbul were all changed to Constantinople. Let me summarize the question, the answers, and the arguments so far:

The question[edit]

  • What should we call the city now called Istanbul when we're discussing events there between 1453 and 1930?

The answers[edit]

  • Constantinople
  • Istanbul

The arguments for "Constantinople"[edit]

  1. Before 1930, there was no official name for the city.
  2. Before 1930, in general English usage the city was called Constantinople.
  3. Before 1930, the city was not called Istanbul.
  4. "Constantinople" does not advance an ethnic or religious agenda.
  5. Various appeals to authority:
  • The final and official replacement of Constantinople by Istanbul did not take place until 1930., "Istanbul and the Civilization of the Ottoman Empire", by Bernard Lewis, p. x
  • The capital of the Ottoman Empire was originally called Constantinople.....and did not officially adopt the name Istanbul until 1930, "New Encyclopedia of Islam", by Cyril Glasse, p.229
  • ...Constantinople was not officially renamed until 1930..., "Daily Life in Ancient and Modern Istanbul", by Robert Bator, p.33
  • Istanbul was only adopted as the city's official name in 1930...., "Osman's Dream", by Caroline Finkel, p. 57
  • It held the name Constantinople until 1930...., by Dr. Robert Wahl, Foundations of the Faith 101, p.116 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Donnyhoca (talkcontribs) 07:24, 14 March 2010 (UTC)


  1. If by "official name" one means a name that has been publicly declared by a government to be the one and only name of the city, no, there was no official name. (The same was probably true of most cities.) If by "official name" one means name generally used in official documents, then there were several names: Istanbul, Kostantiniyye, and Dersadet being some of the most used. In the absence of a single "official name" other criteria for choosing will be necessary.
  2. True, general English usage before 1930 was Constantinople. However, that usage was not exclusive. The name Istanbul was also used occasionally. Furthermore, present-day writers are not bound by past usage. (Analogies: The name Peking has been in general use in English for a long time, with "Beijing" not internationally adopted until 1982; yet a current writer is not obliged to refer to pre-1982 Beijing as Peking. A more emotionally charged analogy: African Americans have been called a variety of names throughout history; yet a writer nowadays is not required to use those names, except of course when quoting directly from older sources.)
  3. Before 1930, the city was in fact called Istanbul, both in English and Turkish. An example (courtesy Google Books): In Harford Jones Brydges's 1833 Dynasty of the Kajars, Constantinople occurs 11 times and Istambul (that is, Istanbul) occurs 7 times.
  4. It has been argued that the present-day use of "Constantinople" in fact advances the agenda of Greek nationalists. See for instance the controversies that erupt in the Turkish press any time a Greek public figure uses the word "Konstantinopolis."

DNYHCA (talk) 18:26, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Support for "Istanbul"[edit]

  1. See Counterarguments above.
  2. The Library of Congress Authorities entry for Constantinople states, "Valid as a name heading for the period 330-1453," and notes, "Constantinople; orig. known as Byzantium; after its conquest in 1453, usage of Istanbul became increasingly predominant until law of 1930 stipulated that Istanbul be only name for city." (With regard to other names, the Byzantium entry states, "Valid as a name heading before 330 A.D.," and the Istanbul entry states, "Valid as a name heading after 1453.")
  3. Books on Ottoman history published by university presses in the past 20 years seem to prefer to call the 1453-1930 city Istanbul. A few examples (again courtesy Google Books): A brief history of the late Ottoman empire (Princeton UP); Approaching Ottoman history: an introduction to the sources (Cambridge UP); An economic and social history of the Ottoman Empire (Cambridge UP); The Cambridge history of Turkey: the later Ottoman Empire, 1603-1839 (Cambridge UP); An Ottoman tragedy: history and historiography at play (U California P); Formation of the modern state: the Ottoman Empire, sixteenth to eighteenth (Syracuse UP); Southeastern Europe under Ottoman rule: 1354-1804 (U Washington P); Morality tales: law and gender in the Ottoman court of Aintab (U California P); Arabs and Young Turks: Ottomanism, Arabism, and Islamism in the Ottoman (U California P); Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Arab World: The Roots of Sectarianism (Cambridge UP); Bandits and bureaucrats: the Ottoman route to state centralization (Cornell UP); Sorrowful shores: violence, ethnicity, and the end of the Ottoman Empire (Oxford UP); The concubine, the princess, and the teacher: voices from the Ottoman harem (U Texas P); The great game of genocide: imperialism, nationalism, and the destruction of the Ottoman Armenians (Oxford UP); Ladino rabbinic literature and Ottoman Sephardic culture (Indiana UP; this book is inconsistent, mostly using Istanbul, but occasionally Constantinople); Networks of Power in Modern Greece: Essays in Honor of John Campbell (Columbia UP; also inconsistent, using both names about equally); etc.

DNYHCA (talk) 15:32, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Appeals to authority[edit]

  • With regard to the Caroline Finkel quotation that keeps appearing on the page, "Istanbul was only adopted as the city's official name in 1930..":
    • True, Istanbul was not the "official name" before that date (see my comments about official names above, however).
    • Notice, nevertheless, that Finkel does not state that Constantinople was the official name before 1930. (There was no "official name" before 1930 -- except maybe Dersadet.)
    • In fact, the quotation does not address the question of present-day usage. What should we, writing in 2010, call the city when referring to events that happened between 1453 and 1930?
      • I cite a few precedents above. To summarize (and add a new one):
        • English-language university presses publishing books on Ottoman history now mostly prefer the name Istanbul.
        • I haven't surveyed popular press books on Ottoman history, but from my memory of my own readings, I would guess that recent books are pretty evenly divided between Constantinople and Istanbul.
        • The U.S. Library of Congress says use the name Istanbul for the city from 1453 to 1930.
        • The entry for Istanbul in the Getty Thesaurus of Geographical Names lists İstanbul (with dotted I) as "preferred," Istanbul (without dotted I) as "preferred English," and Constantinople as "ancient."
    • The Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use offers some guidelines on English usage that might be useful for anyone wanting to arbitrate this dispute, particularly the final sentence: "As English language changes, so certain names go out of use."

DNYHCA (talk) 16:14, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

    • Within Wikipedia, there is the Use Modern Names section of the Naming conventions guidelines and the Divided Usage section of the Use English guidelines.
      • Note that Naming Conventions states that Wikipedia "uses ... Constantinople for the capital of ... the Ottoman Empire," yet also states that "It is sometimes common practice in English to use name forms from different language to indicate cultural or political dominance" (which would seem to support the use of Istanbul) and that "we are interested in what reliable English-language sources now use" (which probably supports the use of Istanbul). DNYHCA (talk) 17:02, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Politics of names[edit]

A little quotation on Soviet-era use of names for the city of Istanbul, all connected with Russian nationalist dreams of being a "Third Rome": "Soviet historians must discover 'the influence of the Slavs on the history of Byzantium.' They must 'expose' the Ottoman conquest of Byzantium in 1453 and show that 'the Turkish assimilators are the most brutal of all assimilators who tortured and maimed the Balkan nations for hundreds of years.' Indeed, 'the very fact that the 1953 Congress of Byzantine scholars (on the sooth anniversary of 1453) is being held in the capital of Marshallized Turkey' is evidence enough that it will serve 'American imperialist and Pan-Turkish aims.' After all, Istanbul is but another name for Constantinople, and that for Byzantium, always the Tsargrad of imperial dreams, and the gateway, to boot, to the Mediterranean and the Near East for the Stalinist Empire." Bertram D. Wolfe. "Operation Rewrite." Foreign Affairs (October 1952), vol. 31, no. 1, p. 53. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Donnyhoca (talkcontribs) 17:42, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Yet, IF that is the case then why did the Republic of Turkey have to pass a law(1930) changing the way their postal service recognized the name of Constantinople? And even TWO references, which you so quickly deleted, state that Constantinople was the capital of the Turkish Empire(ie. Ottoman Empire) and clearly state that the name was changed in 1930. Pity these facts are quickly ignored and deleted. I see nothing that over-rides both references from the Encyclopedia Britannica(considering one of the references is online and blantantly states that the city's name was changed in 1930). --Kansas Bear (talk) 19:58, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Donnyhoca's removal[1] of Constantinople which was changed by English Bobby(March 11[2]), in addition to a reference added here[3] is in Donnyhoca's own words[4], "reversion w/o consensus might be considered vandalism". So according to Donnyhoca's own words he should seek consensus before changing referenced information. --Kansas Bear (talk) 03:12, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
In a way, true. But since you have refused to add any much discussion to this talk page, I'm not sure how you can consider yourself as acting in good faith or contributing to consensus. Or have I misunderstood the basics of Wikipedia? DNYHCA (talk) 05:10, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
  • None of the parties in this dispute have made any serious effort to resolve it. I repeat my suggestion to seek mediation. Dlabtot (talk) 12:20, 20 June 2010 (UTC)


  • I encourage the involved editors to pursue some form of dispute resolution, perhaps WP:MEDIATION. Dlabtot (talk) 00:41, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Another Suggestion[edit]

Right now, the first mention of Constantinople is in this sentence:

Halide Edip was born in Constantinople.

How about rewriting it like this:

Halide Edip was born in Constantinople (now modern day Istanbul).

Would that solve the problem? Bill the Cat 7 (talk) 18:30, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Oops! I forgot to add...Halide sure was a hottie!!  :)


When was the online Britannica article on Istanbul written? It seems wildly outdated and inaccurate in places. For instance, "... there remain scorched stretches of the old city that have never been rebuilt" and "Foreign educational institutions include the American Robert College for boys (founded in 1863) and the American College for girls (founded in 1871), both on the Bosporus." Or, slightly less wild, "Beyoğlu, considered to be “modern Istanbul,” remains, as it has been since the 10th century, the foreign quarter." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:27, 3 September 2010 (UTC)